There hasn’t been much hockey lately, but yesterday brought some good news for Sabres fans. Pat Kaleta looks to be okay after suffering a nasty hit from Maxim Lapierre, after initially being diagnosed with a concussion on Saturday night. It’s good that Kaleta will be okay, but it still bothers me that nothing has been done by the league since the incident occurred. Here’s what Craig Rivet and Lindy Ruff had to say about the hit:
“I think it was dirty,” Craig Rivet said. “I know Lapierre is a hard-working guy, but he’s also border line on the dirty side, on the cheap side. That’s the way he plays. Everybody has seen the hit, they have to address it and that’s the bottom line.
“He saw Patty Kaleta’s numbers and he still took strides and he still hit him. If there’s nothing done and there’s no suspension, then it’s all for nothing.”
Ruff said the League did review the hit, but will not issue a suspension to Lapierre.
“It’s not going to be dealt with,” he said. “They looked at it. That’s all we’re getting.
It should be noted that Rivet did what he could to rectify things on the ice, but this is an issue that the league is supposed to deal with and once again has not. We’ve talked about Kaleta’s role in incidents like this, but for as much as league officials have preached safety this season, it’s been more of the same when it comes to suspensions. Don’t they have a chart to consult or something?
It’s probably an unfair comparison, but Sean Avery has still received a bigger punishment for a few words than anything he’s done on the ice. The six game suspension he was tagged with back in December is still more time than Denis Gauther served this season, and he’s had multiple incidents this year alone.
When things like this happen, it makes going after fighting look even stupider by comparison. The amount of injuries due to fights is minimal compared to the amount sustained by hits like these, hits that are completely preventable if proper action is taken. If someone breaks their hand in a fight, they at least knew the risks involved before agreeing to drop the gloves. No one asks to be driven headfirst into the boards, or elbowed well after the play.
As always, this league talks a big game while the results are second rate.