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Tag:Jared Ross
Posted on: November 3, 2011 11:20 am
Edited on: November 3, 2011 3:57 pm

Sabres' Kaleta given four-game ban for head-butt

By Brian Stubits

Patrick Kaleta of the Buffalo Sabres was suspended four games by Brendan Shanahan on Thursday for head-butting. The play in question came on Wednesday night early in the first period when Kaleta hit Philadelphia Flyers forward Jakub Voracek.

As has become standard procedure, Shanahan released a video explaining his decision in detail.

While using the term head-butt is certainly applicable, I'd like to describe it more as a battering ram. With a scrum on the boards about five minutes into the game, it appears as if Kaleta just became impatient. He doesn't have time to wait for the puck to be jarred free. So he essentially powers his head straight into Voracek's face.

The video clearly shows ... Shanahan notes that Kaleta has been penalized for thinking he was a torpedo before. One of the big contributing factors in these suspensions or lack thereof is prior history, and, well, Kaleta has a history.

Also, the new in word from Shanahan is intent. Judging Kaleta's past actions and Kaleta seemingly stepping back and addressing the situation with Voracek before the head-butt led him to conclude this was intentional.

It might seem rather innocuous at first. It was so indiscreet, fans were trying to guess what Kaleta did before the NHL officially announced what the hearing was for. I saw some guess a slashing, another for elbowing. For the vast majority of players, this might get them a stern warning or a one-game suspension/fine. Kaleta isn't in the vast majority.

I feel pretty safe in saying that Kaleta might now be the most hated player in hockey with Matt Cooke having turned a corner. With Shanahan calling for a hearing on the matter, it's only a matter of hours before Kaleta gets his first feel of the Shanahammer.

More NHL Discipline News Here

Photo: Getty Images

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or