UNIONDALE, N.Y. – Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta has been suspended by the NHL for 10 games for an illegal check to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Jack Johnson last week.
The punishment, which will cost Kaleta $152,439 in lost salary, was handed down Tuesday by the league’s Department of Player Safety. Kaleta is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ association.
Kaleta was suspended for five games last season after he shoved New York Rangers centre Brad Richards from behind and into the boards. That ban cost Kaleta $72,000 in salary. Kaleta was suspended two other times earlier in his career.
The latest hit took place at 3:10 of the first period of Buffalo’s 4-1 loss to Columbus on Thursday. Kaleta wasn’t penalized in the game.
Kaleta already missed games against Chicago and Minnesota, while awaiting an in-person hearing on Tuesday. He then sat out that night’s game at the New York Islanders.
Kaleta’s lost salary will go to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. He is eligible to return Nov. 2 against Anaheim.