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NHL hands Leafs’ Clarkson 10-game suspension

Sep 23, 2013, 7:59 PM EDT

davidclarksongetty Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs admitted that David Clarkson made a mistake by leaving the team’s bench to fight in Sunday’s melee with the Buffalo Sabres; now the NHL is making him pay. As expected, he was handed that automatic 10-game suspension on Monday.

Clarkson, 29, won’t be able to participate in his first Leafs regular season game until a road contest against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Oct. 25.

With little surprise, this suspension will take a hearty chunk out of the newly-signed forward’s wallet. He’s forfeiting $269,230.80 to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.

This development hurts the Leafs in more ways than just losing Clarkson, as this provides no salary cap relief for a team with little breathing room.

Now we’ll just need to wait and see how the NHL handles Phil Kessel‘s slash-and-spear outburst on Buffalo Sabres tough guy John Scott.

Here’s video of the line brawl that inspired Clarkson to make that significant mistake:

  1. letsgolightning - Sep 23, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    Oh man, I hope the Sabres have some special where they’re “slashing prices” next time Kessel is in town

    • anthj99 - Sep 23, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      Haha. That would be great.

    • valoisvipers - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:42 AM

      @letsgolightning “slashing prices” in Buffalo would benefit more Leaf fans than Sabre fans. There are lots of Leaf fans that can’t get or won’t pay the price for a ticket in Toronto but know they can watch games in Buffalo for cheap and get a great seat.

  2. villi5ed - Sep 23, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    A lunkhead move by a kinda lunkhead player. Give him his due —- he cannot skate, but he is not ineffective as an 8th or 9th forward on a really good team. (Top 6 forward? Your team isn’t good.) He poses as a tough guy, but will never drop them for real with anyone who can kick his ass. (I remember well his laughable dances with Colton Orr —– “Lemme at him, lemme at him, I’ll —- whoa, hey, somebody help me, the wall of humanity that was separating us just evaporated!”) He cannot handle the puck with any skill, but he has managed to score goals in the NHL. He snowplows when back-checking, but still isomehow s not a total loss in his own end.

    Congrats, DC. Because you are making big money, playing on your hometown team, the one you grew up rooting for. And you have earned it. How? I am not exactly sure, because I have seen a parcel of games where you looked like you
    had no idea how to play. But if the market was skewed a little with the $$ you got? So what. You did enough to make it happen.

    • withseidelinn - Sep 23, 2013 at 9:00 PM

      He earned it by getting drafted and scoring 30 goals in the best league in the world…

      Not saying he’s the greatest player out there but you can’t really sit on your computer and tell a guy in the NHL he hasn’t earned it.

      • JRZ Satan - Sep 23, 2013 at 9:17 PM

        “Following a successful junior career, the undrafted winger was signed as a free agent by the New Jersey Devils in August 2005…”

      • withseidelinn - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:08 PM

        Makes it even more impressive.

      • 950003cups - Sep 24, 2013 at 2:46 AM


        I love Clarkson. I wish he has great success. But of you wanna support him there are a few things you need to know.

        A) he’ll fight anyone, even is it means getting his butt crushed. He’s a stand up guy. I would love to have a beer with him.
        B) he was never drafted. He was an undrafted free agent.
        C) (my favorite) a coue tears ago when his old contract expired and he was under 27, he thought he was a UFA because he wasn’t a drafted player and was expecting to hear offers. That was an epic failure by (whoever was) his agent for not filling him in. Even CapGeek had him as an RFA.


        But if you ever meet him, he’s ad nice a guy as can be. He’s a great teammate. He’s a great player in the clutch. He’s fun to watch and you never know what that crazy guy will do next.

        If he doesn’t become a fan favorite or at the very least, have a cult-like following by the end of this season, then I’ll be shocked. He’s that type of guy.

    • sunderlanding - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:36 AM

      People said the same thing about Brian Bickel. This type of player is perfect on a line with two skill players.

  3. billsin20xx - Sep 23, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    It will be real interesting what they do with kessel. The first 2 hander can be attributed to anger, OK, minor punishment. The second one, where he waiting for Scott to be in just the right position so he could really go to town, that one really deserves a major punishment, especially then with the spear at the end.
    I never realized what a little silly boy he is, can’t wait to see what happens when one of the Sabre’s that are his size get him going next time.
    Boy, maybe Phanuef will really start slashing and spearing the little guys next game, since he obviously doesn’t believe in fighting. Same situation as Scott/kessel, he went after a little guy Ennis saturday night, slashed, face washed, then when Ennis had the guts to try and fight him (not like little boy kessel) Phanuef ran and hid!

    • dueman - Sep 23, 2013 at 10:23 PM

      Wow dude, you should really try and pay more attention to the games that you are going to comment on…”can’t wait to see what happens when one of the Sabre’s that are his size get him going next time.” – I guess that you had your eyes closed when Kessel beat up Flynn. Also, your Phaneuf story…way to straight up create a fictional story there. I can’t even believe that any of you Buffalo fans are even opening your mouths right now after what Scott did. That was just embarrassing!

      • thedavesiknowiknow - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:02 PM

        Was John Scott out there to score goals? Leafs had the last change. I attribute half of the “embarrassment” John Scott inflicted on himself to a coach that seemed completely unaware of what was happening on the ice, or how to react to it. There were probably half a dozen guys on the edge of making that team that would’ve fought John Scott to make an impression. Also,I think it’s fair for someone to ask what the Sabres would do about Kessel next time. They’re a team that have had their “toughness” completely disregarded based on an incident that happened 2 years ago- and a dude took half a dozen swings at one of them.

  4. leafs2013 - Sep 23, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    The “spear” that Kessel gave Scott was more of a poke then a spear. He poked him in the front/side of the pants. The 2 slashes were definitely stupid, the first one was out of anger/fear but the second was a cheap shot and deserves some sort of punishment, maybe one game and a fine.

  5. grumpyoleman - Sep 23, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Kessel better get more than a game for that gutless move and get a whooping when they play again

  6. 19inarow - Sep 23, 2013 at 9:27 PM

    Reminds me of the 80s.

  7. 950003cups - Sep 24, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    Can you guys believe it’s only preseason? This might be he most interesting preseason on record. Oh and if anyone wants to know what will happen next when leafs meet up with the sabres, I think more likely Toronto will have a goon attack the Sabres stars.

    Oh wait, they’re all gone! Now Buffalo fans have a glimpse of what it’s like to be a Devils fan for the last year.

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