Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 9/24/13
The NHL has handed down more punishment following the gigantic line brawl that erupted in Sunday night’s game between the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs. One day after giving Leafs winger David Clarkson an automatic 10-game suspension because he left the bench to join the line brawl, the league banned teammate Phil Kessel for the remainder of the preseason (three games) on Tuesday. “While we acknowledged that Kessel’s initial motivation was self-defense, he persists and swings his stick again even having escaped the immediate threat from Scott,” said Brendan Shanahan of the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. The NHL also fined Sabres head coach Ron Rolston on Tuesday for an “undisclosed amount for player selection and team conduct,” per NHL.com’s Dan Rosen. Kessel should consider himself lucky that he won’t miss any regular season games after slashing Sabres enforcer John Scott twice before coming back to spear him. For a league that has put so much of an emphasis on making the game safer over the last few seasons, this ruling on Kessel’s actions doesn’t send a strong message against violent slashes. The events from Sunday and the resulting punishments should make for must-see hockey when these two division rivals square off for the first time in the regular season on Nov. 15 in Buffalo. Filed under: Headlines, NHL, Nick Goss, Toronto Maple Leafs

This article first appeared on NESN.com and was syndicated with permission.

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