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Bettman upholds Kaleta suspension

by Amy Moritz

Gary Bettmen issued his ruling today, upholding the 10-game suspension of Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta.

Kaleta was appealing his suspension, originally issued by director of player safety Brendan Shanahan, for an illegal check to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson on Oct. 10.

In his complete ruling, Bettman wrote:

“The only question raised on appeal is whether such contact to the head was fairly considered “avoidable.” I find that there is clear and convincing evidence to support Mr. Shanahan’s conclusion that the contact to Mr. John’s head was avoidable and, in fact, should have been avoided.”

“Regrettably, Mr. Kaleta stands out for his repeated violations of – and seeming indifference to – the Playing Rules put in place to protect other Players, and, particularly, other Players’ heads.”

Considered a repeat offender under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement, Kaleta will forfeit $152,439. The money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund. Kaleta has the option to appeal this decision to an independent arbitrator. This is a new feature of the collective bargaining agreement and the players’ association has not yet tested this clause.

You can read the entire report, in all its legalese glory, here.

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |