Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta was handed a 10-game suspension from the discipline czar Brendan Shanahan on Tuesday for a hit to the head of Columbus' Jack Johnson. Now we'll see if it's going to stand.
According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, Kaleta is going to go the route many expected and appeal the suspension.
Patrick Kaleta, after conferring with his agent and the NHLPA, will be appealing his 10-game suspension.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) October 16, 2013
Remember, appeals will still go through commissioner Gary Bettman first but there is now the option to have an independent, third-party arbitrator to review the case and make a decision. In the past the appelate process was almost a waste of time as they went straight to Bettman's office. Now there's hope for the players that a different decision can be reached.
Perhaps an arbitrator will look favorably on Kaleta as the penalty was a bit harsh for the hit, harsher than we're used to seeing. However in the video detailing the suspension, Shanahan explained that Kaleta's long history of supplemental discipline played heavily in their decision to mete out the 10-game ban. There is precedent for the league to hand out tougher penalties to players with histories.
Kaleta has already sat three games as he was suspended indefinitely before the ruling came down on Tuesday.