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Clarkson leaves bench to join altercation, suspension awaits

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TSN.ca Staff
9/23/2013 9:20:10 AM
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David Clarkson will have to wait to make his regular season Toronto Maple Leafs debut.

Clarkson was assessed a 10-minute penalty for leaving the bench to join an altercation in the third period of the Leafs' Sunday night preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres.

The penalty carries with it an automatic 10-game suspension.

"We're not proud or happy that went on, that's for sure," Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle told reporters after the game. "I think Dave Clarkson made a mistake and now we'll pay for it."

NHL Rule 70.10 states: "The first player to leave the players' or penalty bench illegally during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation from either or both teams shall be suspended without pay for the next 10 regular league and/or playoff games of his team."

Clarkson won't be eligible to make his Leafs debut until Oct. 25 when his team visits the Columbus Blue Jackets.

A brawl erupted between the two teams when Sabres forward John Scott dropped his gloves and went after Leafs forward Phil Kessel. That fight came just seconds after a fight between Leafs forward Jamie Devane and the Sabres' Corey Tropp.

Kessel would not drop his gloves to fight Scott, but instead swung his stick twice at Scott. His actions resulted in both slashing and fighting penalties.

Scott was given five- and 10-minute misconducts as well as a game misconduct. In total, the incident amounted in over 100 penalty minutes being assessed, including five-minute fighting majors to goaltenders Ryan Miller and Jonathan Bernier.

Kessel received a match penalty for his retaliation on Scott, a ruling imposed for deliberate attempt to injure another player. The NHL Rulebook states that any player given a match penalty "shall be automatically suspended from further competition" until a ruling is handed down by the Commissioner.

The Maple Leafs would win the game 5-3.

Last week, Phoenix Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette was handed a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench to fight Los Angeles Kings forward Jordan Nolan.

Clarkson leaves the bench (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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