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Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta suspended 10 games for illegal hit to the head

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta was suspended 10 games without pay by the NHL for an illegal check to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Jack Johnson.

Kaleta's reputation and past transgressions played a role in the punishment.

"It's important to note that no matter who delivered this hit, it would have resulted in supplemental discipline," NHL vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan said in the video announcing the suspension. "However, the fact that it was delivered by a player who has been fined or suspended six times in the last four seasons—the last time just 21 games ago—factors heavily into the severity of the decision."

Kaleta will forfeit US$152,439 in salary because he is considered a repeat offender under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.

No penalty was assessed for the hit, and Johnson was not injured on the play.

Kaleta already served two games of this suspension while awaiting an in-person hearing that was convened Tuesday afternoon.

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