Later today, the Buffalo Sabres Patrick Kaleta will face a disciplinary hearing for cheap play. Apparently ramming your helmet into an opponent’s face is frowned up by the NHL.

Take a look:

There are many different ways to “oops, did that hurt?” your opponent, but this was one of the more creative. Your standard headbutt usually comes during a post-whistle scrum where a face-to-face “eff you”-off gets too close, so one guy sneaks in the descending head blow.

The upward motion, like a bull trying to gore a matador is pretty unique. Pretty concerning too, coming from a guy who’s doesn’t always keep things on the up-and-up.

The problem with Kaleta is, his infractions aren’t usually this obvious (remember the gate incident?). He loves the little holds and spears and chirps.

Because of that, he’s shot up the list of most-hated players in the NHL, and I think he’s downright close to claiming top spot.

There’s good news though - NHL has him on their radar now, and there’s a new sherrif in town waiting to drop his hammer.

Fitting image, no?

If there’s a good time to send a message to him, it’s now. He can be an effective player if he just prunes this garbage from his game. It’s not “playing on the edge” when you smash your helmet into a guy’s face.

I have some sympathy when guys say it’s a fast game, and they made a split second decision wrong. But not for nicely thought-out moves like this one.

Kaleta is a cheap player, and it’s time for the League to send him a message.


Up next: the Backhand Shelf Podcast, with guest Dave Semenko. Stay tuned!

Comments (9)

  1. If this were Avery, who I would argue has not had nearly as many cheap infractions as Kaleta, he’d be out 10+.

    The BS this guy gets away with is ridiculous. He’s the prime example of the failure of the previous regime; little one-two game love taps doesn’t deter him, he needs the Matt Cook treatment with a 10+.

  2. AK, exactly. Give him time, I think he’ll catch Avery in infractions. My point is the same as yours here – hit him hard this time and let him know that that shit has to go.

  3. I can’t bring myself to watch Kaleta and his antics on highlight reels because they’re bad for my blood pressure. I hope Shanbags sends a strong message for this dirty play.

  4. A year or two ago, somebody asked Milan Lucic who the biggest PITA was to play against and he didn’t hesitate in naming Kaleta. Hopefully he’s halted before he Matt Cookes someone.

  5. I liked the scummy slash on the back of the leg by giroux on Roy after losing to roy on one of the late face offs.

  6. Tarotsujimoto74- I’d say that kinda stuff is built into hockey. Even in club if I am not getting slashed and dishing our some slashes in corners, behind the net, and behind plays I wouldn’t consider it a good hard hockey game. It sucks, but a few black and blue’s and sore muscles let you know your time was well spent on the ice.

  7. Geez, how does Kaleta only get 4 games here – not a well documented cheap shot body of work up to this point?

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