BUFFALO – The NHL slammed Sabres agitator Patrick Kaleta with a 10-game suspension today for an illegal check to Jack Johnson’s head in Thursday’s 4-1 loss to Columbus.
In banning Kaleta, NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan cited three previous suspensions and three fines, including a five-game ban for cross-checking the New York Rangers’ Brad Richards head-first into the boards just 21 games ago.
Kaleta will forfeit $153,439.00 during the suspension. The 27-year-old has already served two games and is eligible to return Nov. 2 against Anaheim. He had his in-person hearing today.
The Angola native wasn’t penalized after zooming into the Buffalo zone and hitting Johnson high early Thursday. Jared Boll immediately fought Kaleta, who left the game and returned wearing a full face shield.
Opponents detest Kaleta. The winger’s aggressive play and history of questionable hits have put him under the microscope.
Now, if he doesn’t change, he could find his career in jeopardy.
Kaleta has a long history of suspensions.
In addition to his March ban, Kaleta was shelved four games for head-butting Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek in 2011-12.
The NHL also suspended Kaleta two games in 2009-10 for hitting Philadelphia’s Jared Ross face-first into the glass from behind.