On Sunday night a line brawl broke out in the Leafs' preseason game against the Sabres when John Scott attempted to go after Leafs sniper Phil Kessel. Not long after Clarkson hopped off the bench and onto the ice to join the fray. Immeidately it was clear, his Maple Leafs debut was going to have to wait.
In addition to a game misconduct, a 10-game suspension was mandatory and there was really no getting around it for Clarkson as soon as he hopped into the mix. Rule 70.10 states the following:
"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 will not only sit 10 games but will also forfeit $269,230.80 in salary, a pretty penny that will leave a mark. Not exactly the way he was hoping to begin his monster offseason contract.
Clarkson is the second player this preseason to be assessed an automatic 10-game suspension for coming onto the ice illegally. Coyotes forward Paul Bissonnette suffered the same fate in an altercation vs. LA.