There are certain players who when their name is mentioned invoke the response “oh what did he do this time?”. Patrick Kaleta is one of those players. (No seriously…why should Shark, Blackhawks, or Penguins writers care about a Rangers-Sabres game?)
So what did Kaleta do this time? This:
Sigh. The good news for Kaleta and the league is Richards came back before the five minute major was over therefore injury didn’t play a part in the punishment. Which brings us to this:
Five games for a repeat offender who was more sorry today that he put his team shorthanded for five minutes than that he almost paralyzed a guy. At least he was sorry for something.
Kaleta forfeits almost $77k in salary due to the suspension. (Side note: How the heck does he make that much in five games?) I wonder what that number would’ve been if Richards needed to be taken off on a stretcher like Marian Hossa was last year. And therein lies the issue.
I’m not going to sit here and say it should’ve been more or complain about what type of player Kaleta is because I obviously have a biased view on the whole thing due to who he hit. (I don’t but I know that’s how it will be seen.) I do agree with Torts when he says it shows a lack of respect among players. One day a career is going to end because the players don’t see anything wrong with these hits since guys are able to come back. And that’s on the league because punishments like these show they don’t feel the need to give them any reason to think any differently.