Kaleta shoved Richards into the boards face-first at 3:28 of the third period of the Sabres 3-2 shootout loss to the Rangers. Richards went sprawling into the boards, hitting his head and neck before falling to the ice in obvious distress. Kaleta earned a checking from behind major penalty and a game misconduct for the play.
Although Richards was down on the ice for several minutes being looked after by the Rangers' head medical trainer, he skated off on his own and returned to the game in the third period.
After the game Richards, his teammates and coach John Tortorella blasted both the player and his actions.
Tortorella called it "disgusting" while Richards questioned Kaleta's place in the game.
"I don't know what game he plays, actually," Richards said, still grimacing in pain after the game. "He doesn't play hockey to begin with. Same guy, all the time."
Kaleta, a repeat offender with prior suspensions, cannot be suspended for more than five games. A player is given the right to an in-person hearing if the league is considering a ban of six games or more