It is Clarkson's second suspension after he received an automatic 10-game ban for leaving the bench to join an altercation with Buffalo Sabres forward John Scott in the preseason.
Clarkson may have gotten off lightly, but Sobotka suffered no serious injury on the play, which is always an important factor, rightly or wrongly.
The Maple Leafs forward has had a tough season and this certainly won't help. As Toronto's biggest offseason acquisition, more has been expected of Clarkson offensively, but it has not materialized.
Though he has struggled, the Leafs, already injury-depleted, will lose Clarkson for games against two of the best teams in the league -- the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night and the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday. So that hurts.
In 23 games this year, Clarkson has six points and 43 penalty minutes.