The National Hockey League handed down a 10- game suspension to Toronto Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson on Monday.
Clarkson was hit with the punishment for leaving the bench to defend teammate Phil Kessel in a scrap against Buffalo enforcer John Scott, touching off a brawl which interrupted play at the midpoint of the third period in the Leafs' 5-3 exhibition victory over the Sabres on Sunday night.
The 29-year-old, who signed a lucrative seven-year deal with Toronto this past summer, was assessed a game misconduct penalty under Rule 70.6, which states that a player who was the first or second player to leave the players' or penalty bench during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation, from either or both teams, should be given a game misconduct.
Rule 70.10 stipulates that the punishment for such actions is an automatic suspension "without pay for the next 10 regular League and/or playoff games of his team."
That means Clarkson will also forfeit $269,230.80 in salary, which automatically goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund.
He will not be eligible to take the ice until the Maple Leafs' game on Oct. 25 at Columbus.