It’s just the preseason in the NHL, but tempers have already begun to flare.
In the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 5-3 preseason win Sunday night against the Buffalo Sabres, several players got into a series of fights that took several minutes to separate.
A brawl broke out [in the third period] shortly after a fight took place between the Maple Leafs’ Jamie Devane and the Sabres’ Corey Tropp.
The fight left Tropp bloody and he laid flat on the ice for about half a minute.
After both players were escorted to the box, Sabres big man John Scott, who is 6’8″, decided he wasn’t going to let it go. Before the next puck dropped, he went after Maple Leafs star Phil Kessel. Kessel then took his stick to Scott’s legs, and everyone dropped the gloves. It was chaos.
Leafs coach Randy Carlyle placed the blame on the Sabres, saying “[Tropp] was the guy who instigated the fight.
David Clarkson, a forward for the Leafs, left the bench to defend Kessel from Scott and now could face a 10 regular-season game suspension for joining the fray.
“We’re not proud or happy that went on, that’s for sure,” said Carlyle, who also said that he sent out Kessel’s line in the hopes of defusing the situation after the fight between Devane and Tropp.
“I think Dave Clarkson made a mistake and now we’ll pay for it.”
Kessel, who scored twice in the game, was issued a match penalty for swinging his stick — an automatic suspension pending a ruling from NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.