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Patrick Kaleta won't appeal 10-game suspension to arbitrator

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

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After mulling it over, Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta has decided he will take his 10-game suspension and not appeal his case to an independent arbitrator.

Kaleta was handed a 10-game suspension for a hit to the head of Columbus' Jack Johnson. It was a severe penalty but the rationale behind the long sentence was that Kaleta has a long history with supplemental discipline, making this just. He appealed the decision to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, who upheld the league's ruling with some strong wording.

That left Kaleta with the option to appeal to an independent arbitrator, a right the NHLPA fought for in the most recent CBA, but instead he has decided against it. Perhaps the strong language in Bettman's ruling dissuaded him from thinking he had a shot to have it overturned.

Or perhaps it's just the simple fact that his suspension is nearly finished. Kaleta only has two games left on his suspension; he's available to return on Saturday against Anaheim.

Whatever the reason, it means that we will continue to wait for the test case in the independent arbitration process.

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