NHL, Shanahan need to be harder on guys like Kaleta

A 10-game suspension for Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta is a start, but the NHL and...

A 10-game suspension for Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta is a start, but the NHL and disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan need to start coming down harder to players who deliver illegal checks. (DARREN BROWN/QMI Agency)

CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:48 PM ET

It’s a start, I guess.

Ten games is about half the wrapping for the message the NHL needed to send Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta, who’s made a habit of making rinks a career-threatening environment for his fellow workers.

NHL vice-president of punishing guys who just don’t get it Brendan Shanahan dropped the 10-game ban on Kaleta Tuesday for his reckless strike to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Jack Johnson Thursday.

Taken on its own, the hit is bad enough. Kaleta put his shoulder into Johnson’s chin from an angle more-than-slightly from behind as Johnson directed the puck at the Sabres net from along the left boards. Kaleta skated about 40 feet to do it.

Either Kaleta knew exactly what he was doing or he’s just not adept enough at adjusting his angle of attack in order to avoid striking a member of the NHL Players’ Association brotherhood right on the chin with a speeding shoulder.

It doesn’t matter.

Kaleta is guilty.


Videos

Photos