NHL suspends Kaleta four games

The NHL suspended Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta four games for using his helmet to hit an opponent...

The NHL suspended Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta four games for using his helmet to hit an opponent in the face. (Darren Brown/QMI Agency/Files)

SPORTS NETWORK

, Last Updated: 5:51 PM ET

NEW YORK - Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta was suspended four games by the NHL for an illegal hit on Flyers forward Jakub Voracek.

Early in the first period of Philadelphia's 3-2 win on Wednesday night, Kaleta drove the top of his helmet into Voracek's face as several players battled for a puck against the boards.

NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan explained in a video Thursday, when the suspension was announced, that Kaleta had been fined for the same illegal hit against Devils forward Travis Zajac during a game on Oct. 13, 2010.

More recently, Kaleta did the same thing to then-Thrashers defenceman Tobias Enstrom on Feb. 23. Enstrom now plays for the Winnipeg Jets.

"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," Shanahan said.

Kaleta is eligible to return Nov. 12 at Boston. He will forfeit a little more than $19,621 in salary, which goes into the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

It is the second lengthy suspension handed out by the NHL this week.

On Tuesday, Edmonton Oilers defenceman Andy Sutton was suspended five games for an illegal hit to the head on Avalanche forward Gabriel Landeskog last Friday.


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