One day after being handed a 10-game suspension from the NHL Department of Player Safety for a hit to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson last week, Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta filed an appeal of the ruling on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
In the appeals process, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman will review the case and decide whether or not to change the ruling. If Bettman does not change the ruling, the case can now go to an independent arbitrator under rules of the new NHL Collective Bargaining Agreement reached last January. The arbitrator will then be able to make a decision whether or not to change the suspension ruling.
Having already served two games of the suspension before his hearing, and a third on Tuesday, Kaleta is set to forfeit $152,439 of his salary for this season if the suspension is upheld. The money would go to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund. Kaleta has already been suspended by the NHL Department of Player Safety on three previous occasions, and is considered a repeat offender.
As the 10-game suspension currently stands, Kaleta will be eligible to return to the Sabres lineup on Saturday, Nov. 2, when the Sabres host the Anaheim Ducks at 7 p.m. Eastern.