The NHL sent a strong message to Buffalo Sabres pest Patrick Kaleta on Tuesday, handing him a 10-game suspension for his “check to the head” of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson:
As the video shows, Brendan Shanahan claims that Kaleta took “an improper angle” and that his shoulder made direct contact with Johnson’s chin.
Shanahan said that such a check would receive supplemental discipline regardless of who was delivering it, but Kaleta’s lengthy history as a repeat offender (he’s been fined and/or suspended six times in the last four years) explains some of the severity of the punishment. This comes despite Johnson, 26, suffering “no injury” from the hit.
Kaleta has already served two games of the suspension. The 27-year-old is eligible to return during a Nov. 2 home game against the Anaheim Ducks. He’ll lose out on $152,439 in game checks.