Patrick Kaleta of the Buffalo Sabres is no stranger to NHL supplemental discipline, but on Thursday he got his first taste of punishment under the rule of Brendan Shanahan.
For his head-butt of Jakub Voracek in Wednesday night's loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, Kaleta will sit for the next four games.
From the NHL:
Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and based on his average annual salary, Kaleta will forfeit $19,621.64. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
The incident occurred at 4:58 of the first period.
Kaleta will miss games Nov. 4 vs. Calgary, Nov. 5 at Ottawa, Nov. 8 vs. Winnipeg and Nov. 11 vs. Ottawa. He will be eligible to return Nov. 12 at Boston.
This wasn't Kaleta's first time dishing out a head-butt, as we noted Thursday morning. In his video explanation, Shanahan points out one other instance last season of a Kaleta head-butt on Tobi Enstrom of the then-Atlanta Thrashers; one that, as far as can tell, went unpunished.
Here's Shanahan's ruling:A video or other embedded content has been hidden. Click here to view it.
"This recent history of ramming his head into the faces of his opponents, regardless of whether he is trying to free the puck, leads us to believe that this act is intentional."
It's that sentence there from Shanahan, coupled with a heavier hammer being swung this season in terms of games suspended, that makes you wonder if this should have been more than a four-gamer.
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Kaleta is a habitual head-butter now and with the potential severity of injury should one of these instances connect with force on a player's face/head, is four games enough of a message to send here? Should the fact that Voracek was not injured save Kaleta from a longer ban despite his noted recent history?
s/t NHL GameCenter Live for the video
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