Patrick Kaleta’s dangerous hit on Brad Richards

Buffalo's Patrick Kaleta will likely be hearing from Brendan Shanahan in the very near future after his dangerous check on New York's Brad Richards. As Richards skated towards the boards, Kaleta shoved him from behind with his stick, sending Richards into the boards headfirst. Kaleta received a major penalty for checking from behind as well as a game misconduct for his reckless check. Richards left the game but later returned. 

This is one dirty play. Richards skates towards the boards for several seconds before Kaleta makes contact. Make no mistake, this isn't one of those plays where the victim plays a role by shifting or turning at the last possible moment. Here, Richards' intentions were quite clear and Kaleta decided to hit him despite being fully aware that he was in a dangerous position. 

After the game, Richards was clearly angry towards Kaleta, as evidenced by his quotes from Yahoo! Sports:

"That's just stupidity. He doesn't play hockey to begin with. It's the same guy all the time."

Believe it or not, some hockey fans are claiming Richards dove on the play. Their proof is that he seemed to fall over a bit too easily and later returned in the game. This notion is a ridiculous one. No player would dive headfirst into the boards, risking paralysis just to earn his team a power play. Common sense should rule the day here. 

As for Kaleta, his record should speak for itself. He was suspended four games for a nasty head-butt in 2011. Kaleta is also responsible for ending Paul Kariya's terrific career thanks to an elbow to the head in 2009, which you can see below. After being struck by Kaleta, Kariya was never able to get over his post-concussion syndrome.

At this stage it's a question of just how big the suspension will be, not a question of whether or not there will be one. Clearly, Kaleta hasn't learned his lesson and the NHL needs to do something drastic for the message to finally be received. 

About David Rogers

Editor for The Comeback and Contributing Editor for Awful Announcing. Lover of hockey, soccer and all things pop culture.