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Sabres' Kaleta banned 10 games for hit to head

Buffalo Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta (top) celebrates his game winning goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period of Game
Buffalo Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta (top) celebrates his game winning goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the third period of Game

(Reuters) - Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta was suspended 10 games by the National Hockey League (NHL) on Tuesday for an illegal check to the head of Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson.

Kaleta, who missed two games while awaiting Tuesday's in-person hearing with the NHL, hit Johnson directly on the chin with his left shoulder in a collision along the boards during the first period of last Thursday's game.

No penalty was assessed at the time of the hit and Johnson was not injured.

The 27-year-old, who has now been suspended four times by the league, is considered a repeat offender and his history factored heavily into the decision, NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said in a video on the league's website.

Kaleta, the Sabres' sixth round draft pick in 2004 who had no points in five games this season, will be eligible to return the Buffalo lineup for a November 2 home game against Anaheim.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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