Apr. 7, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Buffalo Sabres head coach Ron Rolston on the bench during a game against the New Jersey Devils at First Niagara Center. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Lowers the Boom on Ron Rolston and Phil Kessel

Hear all, hear all the NHL has spoken and handed out the punishments for Sunday night’s extracurricular events during the Buffalo Sabres and Toronto Maple Leafs. The league and Brendan Shanahan have determined that both the Sabres and Leafs were guilty and both have been “punished”.

Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

As bad as Sunday night’s brawl was and despite the fact John Scott arguably started the entire fisticuffs, the Sabres did nothing wrong. No player left the bench, Scott let his fists do the talking and they committed no “real” suspendable offence. But to be just, the NHL decided they would fine Sabres head coach Ron Rolston for his “player selection”, the only problem is Rolston didn’t select any players to go out and fight, Scott was already on the ice.

Nice try NHL, but John Scott was already on the ice prior to the brawl. Whether Rolston called Scott over for a talk during commercial break or not, he was already on the ice. But because of the drama caused by the brawl the league had to get the Sabres for something. I wonder if the league will uphold this new fine by penalizing other coaches for “player selection.”

Next we move to the actual guilty party, the one who did commit a suspendable offence- Phil Kessel. The league has decided that fair is suspending Kessel for a whopping 3 preseason games. Wow, good job on that one Shanahan. I guess it’s open season for use of sticks this season on anyone you don’t want to fight. Suspending Kessel for the remainder of the preseason is sure to teach him a lesson, not like he has anything to prove during said preseason.

In addition to the preseason ban for Kessel, David Clarkson who left the bench to join the brawl was also suspended. Clarkson will be allowed to play out the preseason but will have to sit for the first 10 regular season games. It is rumoured that the NHLPA and Clarkson will be appealing the suspension for leaving the bench.

Once again another incident the NHL probably got wrong. Can’t wait to see what the regular season has entail after this crazy preseason.

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Phil Kessel Ron Rolston Toronto Maple Leafs

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