Toronto Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson has been suspended 10 games for an illegal line change during Sunday night's exhibition game with the Buffalo Sabres, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced on Monday night.
The announcement of Clarkson's suspension is merely a formality, as his decision to illegally leave the bench to join a fight carries a mandatory suspension of 10 games. The league merely needed to confirm that the ruling was upheld.
The infraction occurred during the third period, when the Maple Leafs and Sabres engaged in a full line brawl, which included both goaltenders. John Scott of the Sabres and Phil Kessel of the Maple Leafs were the impetus for the brawl. In addition, Kessel will have a phone hearing with the NHL at 4:45 p.m. ET on Tuesday afternoon to discuss his role in the incident. Kessel aggressively swung his stick at Scott multiple times.