Patrick Kaleta Faces a Disciplinary Phone Call
Update: Kaleta has been suspended for five games.
He delivered a cross-check to the back of an unsuspecting Brad Richards, causing him to fall forward and lay with his back on the ice, writhing in pain and clutching his wrist. The first angle of the cross-check looks bad, but then another view shows Richards’ head and shoulder hitting the boards before he took to the ice and balled his hands up, probably as an attempt to divert from the pain.
Richards came back to finish the game and, on the long power play the Rangers got from the cross-check, they scored twice. Buffalo went on to tie it at two, but then New York prevailed in the shootout for a 3-2 win.
Another player who recently cross-checked a vulnerable guy with his back turned, Jamie Benn, was fined the maximum $10,000 for his action. However, that was Benn’s first time meeting with the Department of Player Safety. Kaleta has been to the figurative principal’s office before–in November 2011–so it’s unlikely that he will be asked only to open his wallet.
But, the fact that the hearing will happen over the phone means the maximum amount of games he could miss is restricted to five. Players have the right to an in-person hearing if the suspension is slated for six games or more.