We’ve got our first suspension of the preseason… and it goes all the way into the regular season.
Los Angeles Kings forward Arthur Kaliyev has been suspended four games for kneeing Chase DeLeo of the Anaheim Ducks. He’ll miss his team’s final two preseason games and their first two regular season matches.
The hit, which came just 1:32 into the second period of Tuesday’s game, drew a minor penalty for kneeing by referees Graham Skilliter and Graedy Hamilton.
DeLeo was injured on the play and did not return to the game.
After further review, the league felt it deserved some additional discipline. Here’s the ruling from Player Safety:
As the video shows, Kaliyev takes a hard hit in the neutral zone from a Ducks player that knocks him to the ice. Kaliyev gets back to his feet, sees DeLeo, and immediately lines him up for a body check. Sensing pressure, DeLeo shifts to his right attempting to avoid the contact. Now at risk of missing the hit, Kaliyev adjusts his body, jutting his knee forward and into the knee of DeLeo, recklessly causing a leg-on-leg collision. This is kneeing.
It is important to note that this is not a case where a sudden movement by the player receiving the hit creates an unavoidable knee-on-knee impact. Kaliyev adjusted to DeLeo’s movements by extending his knee forward, significantly ensuring contact is made. This extension results in knee-on-knee contact with Force necessary to merit supplemental discipline.
From Rule 50:
Kneeing is the act of a player leading with his knee and in some cases extending his leg outwards to make contact with his opponent.
The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a minor [or major] penalty, based on the severity of the infraction, to a player guilty of kneeing an opponent. When a player has been assessed a major penalty for kneeing he shall also be assessed a Game Misconduct.
The Referee, at his discretion, may assess a match penalty if, in his judgment, the player attempted to or deliberately injured his opponent by kneeing.
The Los Angeles forward loses no salary for the two preseason games, but will forfeit his pay for the two regular season matches, which amounts to $9,314.12.
Kaliyev, a 2019 Kings draft pick, has been fined previously, picking up a $2,235 fine for cross-checking Anaheim’s Josh Mahura in April 2022.
The Kings went on to win the game 4-1. Referees were Graham Skilliter (#24) and Graedy Hamilton (#41); linesmen were Justin Johnson (#57) and Trent Knorr (#74).
Kaliyev will miss the Kings’ season opening two-game home stand against the Colorado Avalanche and Carolina Hurricanes. He’s eligible to return to the lineup when the Kings visit the Winnipeg Jets on October 17.