Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta's appeal of his 10-game suspension was denied by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman on Thursday.

Kaleta was given a 10-game suspension for contact to the head of Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnson last week. The penalty was on the stiff side since Kaleta was a repeat offender. Not agreeing with the suspension length Kaleta and the NHLPA appealed Brendan Shanahan's decision.

Appeal: denied. Bettman explained in his ruling:

I have concluded based on my review of the matter that there is clear and convincing evidence to support Mr. Shanahan's determination that a ten (10) game suspension is the appropriate penalty in this case. My conclusion is based on both the nature of the violation and even more significantly on Mr. Kaleta's prior disciplinary record as discussed below.

As an initial matter it bears repeating though it should not be necessary to do so -- that head hits are a matter of great concern to the League and the Players and that violations of Rule 48 are among the most serious Playing Rule infractions in the game. This can come as no surprise to anyone associated with the NHL as I have been very clear consistent and vocal on these points.