David Clarkson banned 10 games
NEW YORK -- Toronto forward David Clarkson was suspended 10 regular-season games without pay for leaving the bench to take part in a fight during the Maple Leafs' game against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night.
Clarkson's automatic suspension, which doesn't include the rest of the preseason, results from the game misconduct penalty he received for joining the brawl during the third period of Toronto's 5-3 win over Buffalo. The NHL announced the discipline on Monday night.
LeBrun: Leafs Faced With Early Adversity
Pierre LeBrun asks whether this is the kind of bad omen that sinks a season before the puck is even dropped for the Maple Leafs. Blog
Scott is 6-foot-8 and 270 pounds, while Kessel goes 6-0, 202 pounds.
The Maple Leafs quickly moved in to protect their teammate -- including Clarkson coming off the bench -- and the melee was on. The Maple Leafs' Jonathan Bernier and Sabres' Ryan Miller capped the proceedings with a goaltender bout. They exchanged punches away from the main scrum as the Air Canada Centre crowd roared its approval.
When order was finally restored, gloves, sticks and equipment were strewn across the ice and the benches were depleted. When all was said and done, the teams combined for 239 penalty minutes.
A mildly interesting preseason game suddenly had hockey fans circling Nov. 15 on their calendars for when the Atlantic Division rivals next meet.
Clarkson signed a $36.75 million, seven-year contract with Toronto in the offseason and will forfeit $269,230.80 of his salary. He is eligible to make his Leafs debut Oct. 25 at Columbus.
Kessel, who was issued a match penalty, was suspended for three games for his stickwork.
Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press
MORE NHL HEADLINES
- NHL files motion to dismiss concussion suit
- Stars sign Spezza to 4-year, $30M extension
- Kings given cap relief for suspended Voynov
- Islanders stay hot with SO win over Pens