TORONTO – Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel has been suspended for the pre-season’s remaining three games.
The suspension comes after Sunday’s pre-season game against the Buffalo Sabres which was highlighted by a line-brawl between the two teams.
Kessel was initially given a match penalty for an attempt to injure for swinging his stick at Sabres player John Scott.
The NHL’s department of player safety released a video Tuesday afternoon detailing the reason for the suspension.
“We acknowledge that Kessel’s initial motivation was self-defense, he persists and swings his stick again, even after having escaped the immediate threat from Scott,” NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan said in the video.
The video also points to two similar instances in the previous pre-season game against the Philidelphia Flyers, where Kessel swung his stick at the heels of two Philadelphia players.
Leafs player David Clarkson was suspended 10 games for leaving the bench during the fight.