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Sabres’ Kaleta, Canucks’ Edler face NHL hearings

Oct 11, 2013, 9:31 AM EDT

It looks like there might be some supplemental discipline handed out today, according to the league’s website.

The NHL has offered Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta an in-person hearing for his high elbow to Columbus’ Jack Johnson. The fact that it’s in-person is significant because that would allow the NHL to suspend Kaleta for more than five games.

Kaleta wasn’t penalized for that hit, but it did lead to a fight with Jared Boll and both players got five minutes for that.

The Sabres forward is a repeat offender. Last season he was suspended for five games due to his “extremely dangerous” hit on Brad Richards. He also got four games in 2011 for headbutting Jakub Voracek.

You can view the incident in question below (the hit is at about 0:28):

Meanwhile, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Alexander Edler has a hearing scheduled as a result of his hit on San Jose Sharks rookie Tomas Hertl.

Hertl appeared to be going in for a check on Edler and caught Hertl’s head in the exchange. Edler didn’t receive a penalty on the play.

This isn’t the first time Edler’s gotten in hot water though. He got a two-game suspension last season after colliding with Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith. Edler also got in trouble internationally over his knee-on-knee hit to Eric Staal.

That incident can be viewed below (skip to the one minute mark for the hit):

Hertl and Johnson both seemed to avoid head injuries on Thursday.

  1. davebabychreturns - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:39 AM

    What the hell does “Edler might have responded by elbowing Hertl in the head” mean Ryan?

    I can only assume you’re being coy since anyone who watches the video can see Edler’s elbow stay down through the entire collision.

    It’s pretty clear that Hertl tried to win a puck race by leaning down to poke it past Edler who was skating towards the puck at a right angle from him.. short of diving to the ice I have no idea how Edler could have even avoided contact there, as it was he kept his elbow down and did not drop his shoulder or change course (the kinds of things that indicate a player is attempting to deliver a check).

    Honestly if that play is a suspension I don’t even know how players are supposed to avoid them anymore. Shall we have hybrid puck races too, and officials can inform players whether they’re allowed to compete for possession or whether they should just stop and let the opponent take it for fear of a collision that gets them a spin on the NHL wheel of supplementary discipline?

    • jpelle82 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:07 AM

      biased much? clearly a target to the head.

      • davebabychreturns - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:34 AM

        “Biased much,” good one, real inventive. And yeah I am biased against asinine suspensions and there have been plenty lately.

        The illegal hit to the head rule is as follows: “a hit resulting in contact with an opponent’s head where the head was the main point of contact and such contact to the head was avoidable.”

        Look at the crouch Hertl is in immediatly prior to the collision, I will link to it rather than embedding it as I’ve made the image pretty large to make it easy to see (white helmet against white boards makes it a bit tough) so here it is.

        How is contact with Hertl’s head “avoidable” when he is clearly leading with it into a collision either player could see from miles away?

        Is this where the league is headed, where a player cannot compete for position in a puck race when his opponent has made himself vulnerable to a hit to the head? The kid needs to kep his lid strapped on tighter and more importantly keep his head up.

      • jpelle82 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        i’m sure if one of the sisters was on the receiving end of this hit you’d be singing a different tune. its pretty clear he wasnt playing the puck, he didnt even reach his stick out to play it, he just drove into the player’s head instead. nice try by edler on selling it but he cant escape replay or the long arm of the law on this one.

      • davebabychreturns - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        Yeah I am the biased one but here you are telling me what I’d think if “one of the sisters” put his head down and got hit in it, that’s rich.

        So what if he wasn’t playing the puck, you do realize NHL players are allowed to compete for position and even collide with one another when possession of the puck is at stake right?

        Edler is allowed to hit Hertl in that situation and cannot be expected to drastically change course within a fraction of a second once Hertl pretty much goes into a full crouch (seriously, look at that still shot).

      • jpelle82 - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:38 AM

        not reaching out for the puck proves his intention to make a hit, which throws out any kind of incidental contact argument he might try his hearing. therefore since it has to be viewed as a hit, initiated by edler, he is responsible for where he targets. in this case, the head. it was avoidable if he played the puck, which he had the time to do. he had the time and angle to position himself to get the puck and even protect it even. hertl’s angle wouldve taken him behind edler in the hope that edler missed or misplayed the puck so that hertle wouldve been able to take it and continue up ice with it. if edler pulls the puck into his feet and protects it, hertle does a fly by. he choose to hit instead and he hit him in the head, end of story.

      • davebabychreturns - Oct 11, 2013 at 1:08 PM

        Edler is allowed to collide with Hertl in this scenario and Hertl is responsible for keeping his head up.

        Edler doesn’t “target” any part of Hertl’s body, he simply takes a direct line to the puck and hits Hertl on the way.

        It’s as simple as this, a player is allowed to hit another player and so long as the player does not deliver “avoidable” contact to the head it is not a violation of Rule 48.

        You can say it was avoidable because he could have not skated into the same area Hertl was but the head contact wasn’t unavoidable until Hertl leaned forward just a fraction of a second prior to the collision, prior to that (when Edler would have actually been deciding whether to play the puck or take the body) the head contact was not clearly coming.

        If Hertl doesn’t lean forward it is a perfectly legal check, Edler did nothing wrong even if he could have played more passively.

      • jpelle82 - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        he planted his right leg and drove his shoulder into hertl. this was not a guy who was going for the puck whatsoever, which is fine except for the fact that he leaned in hertl’s direction and drove his shoulder into his head. he couldnt keep hertle from chipping it up the wall to himself so he chose to eliminate the player not the puck. not an issue except hertl was in a vulnerable position, he knew it because of where the puck was and because he could see hertl leaning in the whole way, and he decided to hit him, resulting in the hit to the head. hertl’s head never drops at the last second, its down the whole way because he’s hustling to get to the puck. the blame the victim defense is weak and edler is starting to make a habit of this kind of stuff….see the staal hit, no defense for that crap.

  2. sjsharks66 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:47 AM

    Edler should get 5 games. Repeat offender and that was a textbook definition of a blind side/headshot hit. Just a coincidence it was on Hertl after he has had all this attention the past couple days.

  3. curioustraveler13 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Kaleta should get a long suspension. What a worthless excuse for a hockey player.

    • ntvd7 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:52 AM

      Total chump….

      He’s going to get his “Cooke/Kane” knockout moment soon enough

      • curioustraveler13 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:55 AM

        I’d prefer a asham vs beagle type of knockout personally.

    • pxland - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      It would be ironic if Buffalo had an even bigger “worthless excuse for a hockey player” to replace him with….

      Oh, wait.

  4. mattypbillsmafia - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:11 AM

    Can the Sabres please get over the fact that kaleta is from the Buffalo area and just cut ties with this dead weight? All he does is A.) skate into the boards as fast as he can B.) get hurt (4 games in and he’s wearing a face cage C.) get suspended for stupid sh*t. He’s not a “tough guy” he’s a pu$$. He wants to be Matt barnaby, but he’s not even close. Please Buffalo, lose this trash. But that won’t happen, because of our inept GM.

  5. btlpper68 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    if they give stuart 3 for finishing his check than edler should get 5

  6. btlpper68 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    breaking news raffi torres suspened for edler headshoting hertl

  7. jb8588 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    IMO the Kaleta hit looks more intentional than the Edler hit. Edler at least keeps his elbow tucked in, but both seem to be obvious head shots. It’s crazy how these players just refuse to avoid contact with the heads!

  8. sjtorpitt - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Haha “it appeared Hertl was going for the check” did you watch the play, guy?

  9. sjtorpitt - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    Haha “it appeared Hertl was going for the check” did you watch the play, guy?

  10. hosewater2 - Oct 11, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Hertl put himself in a bad position, such that head contact was unavoidable. Edler had a right to check him, Hertl touched the puck on the play so whether Edler was going for the puck or the check is completely immaterial.

  11. joey4id - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    these were two blind sided checks with contact to the head. Period! No place in the game for these head shots that can be avoided. the checker has to be made accountable for making contact with the head. It is his responsibility to avoid head contact.

    • dreadpiratesteve - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:15 PM

      Joey, could not agree more. These were dirty plays pure and simple. Fine and suspend both players. Any argument to the contrary is simply someone being a homer.

  12. 2qswing - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:02 PM

    most amazing thing about this story is Kaleta not being penalized for that obvious drive-by elbow to the head on Jack Johnson. What the H are they looking at?

  13. skr213 - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    From this Sharks fan, who currently has a Hertl pic as my Facebook profile pic, the kid needs to keep his head up. He should have seen Edler from a mile away. That said, given how Shanny has been judging things, this should be a suspension just because Edler’s main point of contact was Hertl’s head and Edler could have easily avoided it.

  14. sjsharks66 - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    Davebaby is smoking crack. You keep bringing up the rules in your comments to defend him. The bottom line is the rules say no contact to the head. That was the main point if contact and was very much avoidable.

  15. shamu1the1whale - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    Dang, this sucks to hear. I really like Jack Johnson. He’s such a cool, decent guy. I really hope he’s ok. (Same goes for Hertl. Hope he’s ok too…)

  16. jimw81 - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Patrick Kaleta still in the NHL?

    • thesportsjudge - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:55 PM

      If you consider the Buffalo Sabres NHL quality. I’d say the best AHL team maybe.

  17. thesportsjudge - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:18 PM

    Kaleta’s entire family must be registered here. A lot of down voting on the posts that suggest he(basically) sucks(at life no less) and should be suspended/released.

  18. President Charles Logan - Oct 11, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    How is Patricia Kaleta not disabled yet? or not permanently planted in a wheel chair?

    • President Charles Logan - Oct 11, 2013 at 6:31 PM

      I’m going to laugh when somebody who runs around in the 3rd period of a game with nothing to lose & tries to end this clown’s career … i vote a head-shot or his one of his legs broken

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