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Sabres wing Scott suspended indefinitely for hit

October 24, 2013

BUFFALO, New York (AP) — Buffalo Sabres enforcer John Scott was suspended indefinitely by the NHL on Thursday. And teammate Patrick Kaleta’s appeal to reduce his 10-game suspension was denied by league commissioner Gary Bettman.

Scott was suspended pending a disciplinary hearing for a blindside hit to the head that leveled Boston Bruins forward Lou Eriksson in Buffalo’s 5-2 loss a day earlier.

Scott has been offered a hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.

The news didn’t get any better for Buffalo. Bettman issued a 17-page decision explaining why he turned down Kaleta’s appeal to reduce a 10-game ban for an illegal hit to the head on Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson on Oct. 10.

In supporting league disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan’s initial ruling, Bettman noted Kaleta was a repeat offender, having been previously suspended three times, and added that Kaleta could have avoided hitting Johnson.

Kaleta wasn’t penalized, and Johnson did not miss any ice time.

Kaleta has already missed six games and stands to lose $152,439 in salary. He has one last option to appeal Bettman’s ruling by taking his case to neutral discipline arbitrator James Oldham.

Scott’s suspension came after he was issued a match penalty for charging and ejected for his hit on Eriksson on Wednesday. Eriksson was skating through the neutral zone and had just dumped the puck into the Sabres zone when Scott skated in from the player’s right and struck him with a shoulder to the face.

Eriksson was dazed and didn’t return. He stayed in Buffalo overnight as a precaution.

Scott was apologetic on Thursday.

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