Phil Kessel Suspended for Remainder of Preseason, Sabres Coach Ron Rolston Fined After Massive Line Brawl

by NESN Staff

September 24, 2013

Phil Kessel; Dean MortonThe NHL has handed down more punishment stemming from the gigantic line brawl that erupted during 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 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 [Sabres enforcer JohnScott,” NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said

The NHL also fined Sabres head coach Ron Rolston an “undisclosed amount for player selection and team conduct” on Tuesday, per’s Dan Rosen.

Kessel should consider himself lucky that he won’t miss any regular-season games after slashing Scott twice before coming back to spear him.

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.

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