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Kaleta suspended five games for ‘extremely dangerous’ Richards hit

Mar 4, 2013, 5:43 PM EDT

Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta has been suspended five games — the maximum sentence following a telephone disciplinary hearing — for his hit on New York’s Brad Richards.

Kaleta had a telephone hearing with NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan Monday afternoon.

“In spite of the fact that Kaleta does not shove Richards with great force, he does so at an extremely dangerous distance from the boards,” Shanahan explained via video. “Kaleta is in full control of this play and has ample opportunity to make a better decision.”

Shanahan also notes Richards didn’t turn his back at the last minute, and did nothing to contribute to being hit.

Here’s Shanahan’s full video explanation:

The incident occurred early in the third period, earning Kaleta a five-minute checking from behind major and game misconduct. Richards left momentarily, but was able to return to the contest.

Kaleta will be out of action until Saturday, Mar. 16, missing games against the Hurricanes, Devils, Flyers, Rangers and Senators — meaning yes, he’ll be held out of action when New York and Buffalo renew acquaintances on Mar. 12.

The Rangers were visibly upset with the hit. Head coach John Tortorella called it “one of the most dangerous hits I’ve ever seen,” while Richards classified it as “stupidity.”

Kaleta himself said he felt like a “bag of garbage” about the incident, but did say he’s “changed his game.”

In addition to missing the next five games, Kaleta will forfeit $76,219.25 in salary to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes the monetary fine is higher than usual because Kaleta’s a repeat offender.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    You get the willies just looking at the still.

  2. sjsharks66 - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:55 PM


  3. jimw81 - Mar 4, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Time to play everyone’s favorite game NHL Wheel of Justice!

    • sabatimus - Mar 4, 2013 at 7:28 PM

      Why Alex Burrows isn’t listed is beyond me.

    • comeonnowguys - Mar 4, 2013 at 11:19 PM

      “Pavel Datsyuk has been fined the paltry amount allowed in the CBA as a result of his actions on Pavel Datsyuk. In reviewing this play, we also took into consideration that Pavel Datsyuk is a superstar.”

  4. nikolainyr - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    Right sentence.

  5. wallio - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    Does every hit gets a suspension now? This is shanny’s what? 10th?12th? thats hes handed down? In two months! There never used to be that many per season before. Unless you were Tie Domi of course…..

    • nunan - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:10 PM

      There’s really no way he can win so I’m sure he just ignores all the critics. He suspends people and gets flack, he doesn’t suspend people and he gets flack. Less is better, in my opinion. This has the ability to be over-done so people start to expect punishment from the league for every little incident.

    • stakex - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:46 PM

      There never use to be that many because head shots and nasty hits from behind almost never were considrfed suspendable until a couple years ago.

      Mark Messier and Scott Stevens are two great examples of players from the past who would be suspended five times a year if they played now. They both loved those high hard elbows to the head… which was perfectly fine 10 years ago.

  6. travishenryskid - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:10 PM

    I’ve never seen a pro hockey player go over as easily.

    • nunan - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:12 PM

      Ya, I’m sure he wanted to risk getting paralyzed so that the rangers could go on a PP. He must also have eyes in the back of his head in order to time his dive into the boards.

      • habsman - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:45 PM

        Clod Julien believes Richards was embelishing.

      • nunan - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:59 PM

        It’s clear Richards is a pretty honest player. Anyone can see that. Subban on the other hand doesn’t have a leg to stand on..yet that’s who you support. Just wish he would have stepped up to Marchand when challenged instead of skating away. Your view of the game is clearly jaded.

      • habsman - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:17 PM

        You better read Rat Faces’ comments after the game. He admits that Subban challenged him. Nice try tho!

      • nunan - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:31 PM

        Incorrect…watch the video buddy!

      • habsman - Mar 4, 2013 at 10:39 PM

        Incorrect, Boston Herald buddy.

  7. cousineddy - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    He shouldn’t have hit him from behind and so close to the boards, but it was a hell of a dive

    • nicknyhc - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      Here’s an idea.

      Put a pair of skates on and get out on the ice, position yourself 4 feet from the boards. Then have a 6′ 1″ 205 lb professional hockey player shove you in the back and see if you fall over.

      Prediction: You smash your stupid head on the boards

      • travishenryskid - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:26 PM

        Here’s another prediction. That guy isn’t paid $6.5 million a year because he is one of the best skaters in the world, either. Just a guess.

      • nicknyhc - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:34 PM

        The fact of the matter is Kaleta saw Richards’ numbers, knew he shouldn’t have shoved him, but did anyway. I don’t think Kaleta is a terrible guy, but he made a bad choice. Now he gets to watch for a few games.

        The whole “but Richards got up afterwards” argument is stupid. The point is Kaleta had no regard whether or not Richards would be injured when he threw the hit. Even Ryan Miller said it was a hit he doesn’t like to see in the game.

      • cousineddy - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:55 PM

        you can even see him turn around and look right at Kaleta, he saw him coming, what a joke….I don’t like either one of these players or teams, but I call bs

      • stakex - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:48 PM

        @cousineddy What the hell are you talking about? I’m sure he did see him coming, but how could he have possibly known he was going to get cross checked from behind?

    • sabatimus - Mar 4, 2013 at 7:17 PM

      Seriously. It was a light cross check followed by an embellishment that Sean Avery would’ve been proud of. It’s Richards’ own fault he got hurt.

      • magicrat13 - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:46 AM

        wow….just wow…..

        this post might just be one of the most ridiculous i have read in a long time….forget what team you root for, that is just plain silly…

  8. phillyphanatic77 - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    Good call by the league. Although Kaleta has been better the past few years he still has a history of dangerous play. You gotta know better than that. Eventhough it wasn’t forceful it was still dangerous, just like Shanahan says.

  9. jimw81 - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    If he’s a repeat offender he should have a bigger suspension than 5 games. Harry Z is a repeat offender and got 4 games. It makes no sense. Once again Shanaban fails to send the message besides wasting internet bandwidth with his videos.

  10. voltron217 - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    In a sabre fan and a kaleta fan and I would except this suspension if shanahan weren’t such a joke. Be consistent. In tired of the stats getting away with hits like this but “goons” always get the hammer. It’s a joke. Kaleta just keep doin what your doing until shanahan pulls his biased head out of his ass and starts being consistent.

  11. cruuuzcontrol - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    All you dopes saying it was a dive need to take a few physics lessons and then go out there on skates and see how easy it is to fall over when making a play like that at even a snail’s pace. No chance any player would knowingly toss their bodies at the boards like that for the chance that such a hit could even draw a 2 minute minor penalty, let alone a 5 minute major. Not even game 7 in the Cup finals would be worth the risk for a “dive” like this. Pure luck it wasn’t a severe injury.

    • travishenryskid - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:29 PM

      I love all of these “you had to play to know” comments. A lot of bad hockey players out there comparing themselves to pros.

    • nicknyhc - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      Finally someone with some sense. Most of the people on here seem to think that every pro hockey player is an indestructible superhero. The fact of the matter is if someone hits you in the back you’re going to fall down. When you hit another player in the back at that angle and distance from the boards they have nowhere else to go but head first into the boards.

  12. voltron217 - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    By the way people watch an entire hockey game and I garauntee you’ll see that check atleast once a game. The only difference is its only called when the player goes head first into the boards which is a joke. Plus kaleta barely tapped him not saying Richards was diving but perhaps lost his balance. That wasn’t a malicious hit and if people complain about it then it needs to be called even if a player goes straight up into the glass.

  13. clbrett06 - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    If the league is going to penalize Kaleta for Richard’s embellishment, they better issue a penalty to Dan Girardi for his hit on Tyler Ennis.

    • nicknyhc - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:30 PM

      He did get a penalty

      • clbrett06 - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:51 PM

        Watch Girardi’s hit again. It should be clear that his was fair more “dangerous” than Pat’s. He skated Ennis right into the boards.

  14. cruuuzcontrol - Mar 4, 2013 at 6:52 PM

    Knowing what it takes to get taken off your feet is absolutely something hockey players can claim expertise in, especially the not-so-great ones, like me.

  15. bagjr387 - Mar 4, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    Inconsistency is making Shanabanned and the NHL look bad….A very similar hit, later in the game only resulted in a 2 min minor penalty…..

  16. drewsylvania - Mar 4, 2013 at 7:18 PM

    I hate Kaleta–he’s a dirty player and an &$&*!&#. But he barely touches Richards.

  17. drewsylvania - Mar 4, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    If you’re scoring at home:

    Deliberate, high elbow to the face (Stuart on Landeskog): No discipline whatsoever.
    Slight nudge in the back (Kaleta): 5 games.


  18. buffalomafia - Mar 4, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    Again Kaleta doesn’t belong in NHL! He can’t score a goal! Big deal he hits cheaply! Big bust! He should be selling hotdogs!

  19. arbruins - Mar 4, 2013 at 7:48 PM

    I am glad you said Buffalo…but hot dogs may be too good for him. Is Scott selling crunch and munch now?

  20. interiorfan - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:27 PM

    Burrows has cleaned up his game. I don’t think he’s ever been suspended for a bad hot and , obviously, they don’t suspend for biting. It’s that dirty Jannik Hansen you have to watch out for. Of course, it looks like if you skate by Marion Hossa, he crumples to the ice like a felled tree only to declare himself healthily enough to practice and play in the next game. My big complaint is the total lack of consistency with these suspensions. How does the NHL expect to have any credibility with this ridiculous disciplinary system?

  21. arbruins - Mar 4, 2013 at 8:53 PM

    You mean to tell me Richards wasn’t embelishing?

    • drewzducks - Mar 4, 2013 at 9:59 PM

      Of course not, and neither was Puke Subban.

    • magicrat13 - Mar 5, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      did you see his neck snap back?…..ever have, or hear of, a stinger?

  22. johnstone17 - Mar 5, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    If you watch the play at full speed, you actually see Richards LEGS recoil. Best indication he was not embellishing. Again, I will be the voice that says you can’t talk about player safety & allow this type of play.

  23. alextogge - Mar 5, 2013 at 3:44 AM

    How is this a five game suspension and this a 3 game?

    • tatdue - Mar 5, 2013 at 9:42 AM

      Because Kaleta is a repeat offender, that’s why….

  24. wagons716 - Mar 5, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    I’m a Sabres fan and I agree that Kaleta should of been suspended and the hit was stupid. I actually think that he should of got maybe 7 or 8 games. But I dont think he’s a “goon” or someone that purposely does cheap shots. He’s come a long way since he was that little piss head when he first came into the NHL. On this play I dont think he intended to hurt Richards but wasn’t think all that much. So basically yes I agree the hit was dangerous and that he should of been suspended but I dont think he purposely tried to hurt Richard nor do I think he does cheap shots like Lucic, Cook, Neil, ect… And I also think this hit was worse but nothing was done about it because this is Gerbe and not Richards, go to the 55 sec mark and watch from there

    • tatdue - Mar 5, 2013 at 9:49 AM

      This hit wasn’t worse at all. Gerbe was not sent head first….he went shoulder first and was not even shaken up on the play, but the hit was definitely a penalty and called such….

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