Brendan Shanahan dished out his heftiest punishment of the NHL season on Monday, suspending Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta for five games after Kaleta sent the Rangers’ Brad Richards face-first into the boards with a hit from behind in Sunday’s game.
Richards returned to the game after the third-period hit — and New York scored twice on the ensuing five-minute power play before eventually winning in a shootout — but Rangers coach John Tortorella blasted Kaleta after the game, calling the hit “disgusting.”
“I’m glad we made them pay,” Tortorella said Sunday night. “It’s disgusting. It’s a lack of respect. Each team wants to beat the other team, but you have to respect what’s going on, on the ice.”
Kaleta did not directly apologize for the cheap shot, but said he regretted putting his teammates in a poor situation, telling reporters before his disciplinary hearing that seeing the Rangers tally a pair of power-play goals at his expense made him “feel like a bag of garbage.”
Shanahan, the league’s head disciplinarian, said that Kaleta’s appearance of being fully in control when he made the hit coupled with the 26-year-old’s history of disciplinary problems led him to deal out the first five-game suspension of the 2013 season. This is the fourth multiple-game suspension in seven NHL seasons for the winger, with the most recent stemming from a head-butting incident against Philadelphia in 2011.
To see the hit and hear the rationale behind the suspension, check out the video below.
Photo via Facebook/Buffalo Sabres