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.
- Captain no more: Sharks strip Thornton of ‘C’ 35
- Tank defense: NHL changes up Draft Lottery format 45
- Fanspeak: Clarke voted greatest Flyer in franchise history 32
- Different tune: Moore hasn’t settled with Bertuzzi, says brother 27
- Rangers win Kevin Hayes sweepstakes 25
- Kovalev compares Subban to Leetch, says he isn’t worth the money 50
- Under pressure: Rick Nash 9
- Wang sells Isles to ex-Caps owner Ledecky 41
- Report: MLSE CEO Leiweke to step down (Update: Leiweke denies move) 6
- Report: Bertuzzi-Moore case settled out of court (Update: Bertuzzi’s lawyer confirms) 35