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Greg Wyshynski

NHL fines Kaleta for attempted headbutt on Zajac, general stupidity

Greg Wyshynski
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TSN reports that Patrick Kaleta(notes) was fined for "his attempted headbutt on New Jersey Devils' Travis Zajac on Wednesday in Buffalo," which is odd.

"Attempted headbutt?" Really? Granted, Kaleta nuzzled his face on Zajac's torso like an angry baby goat at first, but then he's like Vinny Jones in a Guy Ritchie film.

Here's how TSN described it:

Late in the first period, Kaleta and Zajac clashed in front of the New Jersey bench. Kaleta leaned in towards Zajac and tried to make contact using his head. He missed and was pushed over by Zajac, who was then assessed a minor penalty for roughing.

Take a gander for yourself via NHL Archive's gloriously named "Patrick Kaleta antics vs The Devils (Diving, Charging, Tripping, Headbutting, nothing new)":

We can't but wonder if this fine was in any way influenced by the trash Kaleta was talking leading up to last night's grudge match with the Chicago Blackhawks, as Niklas Hjalmarsson(notes) returned to the Chicago lineup after being suspended for concussing Jason Pominville(notes). Telling the media that "we'll make a point that you can't be taking hits like that against one of our leaders" is generally frowned upon by the NHL, even if the fireworks in the revenge game ended up having the pop of a wet, 10-year-old Roman candle.

No word on the amount of the fine, but one assumes it might have been greater if Kaleta had better form on his headbutt: Like a two-hand grab and thrust like the late, great Junkyard Dog.

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