Phil Kessel Suspended 3 Games


As we all know, Phil "Trill" Kessel took his beloved "hackey" a little too literally on Sunday, going full Lumberjack/Jedi on John Scott’s completely oblivious ankles. We noticed it, the Sabres noticed it, and NHL Player Safety certainly did, suspending Kessel for the rest of the preseason. 

Much like I said in my post yesterday, Kessel deserves supplemental discipline for what transpired. Was Scott right to jump him? No. Was Kessel defending himself with the first swing? Sure. But Kessel went back for a double and triple dip after two of his teammates had controlled Spott. It looked like one of the brawl scenes from The Rocket, without Sean Avery getting one punched for everybody’s viewing pleasure.

No matter how much we all appreciate his abilities, no player should be allowed to use his stick as a weapon for the sake of it, adrenaline or not. The explanation given seems to allow for the first swing, which is something we were all thinking in our heads, but I was hoping wouldn’t be said. Hopefully it doesn’t leave room for precedent.

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As for the length, Kessel is incredilby lucky to get three games. He misses no regular season time (he would’ve probably only played one more preseason game anyway), and continues his streak of not missing a meaningful game for the Leafs since he made his debut in November 2009. The issue this gives Kessel comes in the fact that he’s now prone to being seen as a repeat offender. Seeing as he’s been very stick and mouth happy this preseason, this will be a sign that he should cool his jets a bit.

Meanwhile, David Clarkson is appealing his 10 games for leaving the bench, and Sabres coach Ron Rolston has recieved a questionable (in my opinion) fine for "inappropriate player selection" by putting Scott on after the Devane fight.

What do you think? Did Kessel recieve too much? Not enough? Or was the rest of the preseason the right amount of discipline?

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  • It was just right.

    The suspension was long enough to maintain the message that slashing with violent intent is unacceptable but not so long that it hurts the Leafs.

    I don’t think this will deter Kessel from doing these slashes in the future though but then again I doubt he’ll be in any more altercations like this.

    I was actually really glad to see the news about Kessel’s suspension with it being the optimal length and all :].

  • Vancityleaffan

    Im ok with this suspension. What gets me excited is that Kessel actually won a fight, never mind get in one.

    I’m still mad about Clarkston being an idot, but I will take the fact that sportsnet reported that the dressing room was ‘giddy’ after the game. I think when it comes to this team coming together, it really helped…….but if the leafs go 2-8 to start the year, better hope that teambuilding can overcome a huge hole

    • Killawatt

      Agree. A hockey team (or any team for that matter) is a funny thing. I know that there is no measure for team bond and friendship and closeness, but it matters. You hear athletes on great teams mention it all the time, that they “played for each other”, etc. So while I don’t think this fight guarantees a damn thing, I also wouldn’t disregard it.

      Clarkson appealing the suspension I just read. I think he has a case. He indeed jumped the boards, but only in a peacekeeper role. Never threw a punch did he? Only restrained a 6’8″ monster who was going after a tiny player. Perhaps he can get the suspension down a few games, or maybe not. Worth a try.

      • Vancityleaffan

        I think the rule is pretty cut and dry. If anything an appeal right before the regular seasion would get a game or two under his belt as the process moves forward for him to play and get the team off to a good start. Thanks for agreeing though!!

  • Vancityleaffan

    I think the “Never threw a punch part” is irrelevant. The reason it specifies that the 1st player over the boards gets 10 games is bc it is a damn near miracle that more players on the Sabres didn’t jump the boards too. I’m a Leafs fan, but this rule is there for a reason.

  • Vancityleaffan

    I’m not sure how I feel about the suspension. On the one hand, I’m glad Kessel wont miss any real games, on the other hand, what is Shanahan doing? Kassian gets 5 real games for an accidental slash while Kessel gets none for an intentional slash? I honestly don’t get it, one showed malicious (albeit understandable, I’m not fighting Scott without a big stick or ideally a spear) intent while the other caused a bad injury. So Shanahan is punishing based on injury and not intention or the act itself? That seems like a recipe for inconsistency to me

  • Vancityleaffan

    This isn’t a punishment. It is “take the rest of the preseason off and it won’t even cost you a dime”. Ridiculous decision by the league. Kessel should send the NHL a thank you card for giving him an excuse not to play in any more meaningless games.

  • Vancityleaffan

    Kessel deserves his three games. I think that instead of a fine, the sabres coach should have to play the Scott line first line minutes for three regular season games, then stuff like this would never happen. Guaranteed