Sep 22, 2013, 10:16 PM EDT
The Toronto Maple Leafs won their preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres 5-3 on Sunday, but a huge line brawl could result in some key suspensions. While Phil Kessel‘s understandable-but-violent slashes on John Scott are open to subjectivity, David Clarkson leaving the bench seems primed to garner an automatic 10-game suspension.
The loss is big in ways that are both obvious and a little more subtle.
The obvious: Clarkson, 29, will need to wait quite some time to make his Leafs regular season debut. That 10-game suspension means he wouldn’t play a meaningful game until a road game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 25. His first home game would be the following night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
After the game, Leafs coach Randy Carlyle admitted to reporters that Clarkson made a mistake and “now we pay for it.”
The subtle: Worse yet, a suspension doesn’t take Clarkson’s $5.25 million salary cap hit off the books, as Bill Daly confirmed to Broad Street Hockey.*
With all this, it’s still way too early for Leafs fans to condemn the Clarkson signing, but his instinct to defend his teammates really backs his new franchise deeper into a corner.
In the likely event that the NHL follows through on a suspension, that is.
- Backstrom to receive silver medal, IOC says Sweden doctor ‘made a serious error’ 15
- Pens lose Neal to concussion 20
- Here are the top 10 and bottom 10 goalies in even-strength save percentage 15
- Weekend preview: Flyers-Pens rivalry renewed, Bruins look to stay hot 10
- Video: Stamkos scores first goal since returning to Lightning lineup 4
- Sedin backs Tortorella and staff: ‘We love playing for these coaches’ 25
- Here are three ‘major changes’ the NHL should consider 98
- Callahan: I wanted to stay in New York 38
- Playoff bubble watch — Wild edition 18
- Video: Ryan Kesler injured on knee-on-knee collision, on his way back to Vancouver 12
- Here are three ‘major changes’ the NHL should consider (98)
- Chiasson ‘shaken up’ by Peverley incident, won’t dress for Stars tonight (74)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (73)
- ‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter (62)
- Video: Dryden on why hockey should ‘give up the fighting, but keep the fight’ (57)