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NHL Roundup: Kessel suspended, Rolston fined after brawl

The SportsXchange

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel was suspended for the final three preseason games for slashing Buffalo Sabres forward John Scott during a brawl between the two teams on Sunday.

Sabres coach Ron Rolston received a fine from the league for his role in the incident.

The incident occurred in the third period when Scott attempted to fight Kessel. Unwilling to engage the Sabres' enforcer, Kessel instead slashed at Scott's ankles to encourage him to keep away. His Maple Leafs teammates skated in to keep him away from Scott, who outweighs Kessel by about 70 pounds. The teams were soon brawling all over the ice. Kessel received a match penalty for slashing.

Rolston was disciplined for the conduct of his team. Referees assigned 211 penalty minutes as a result of the myriad altercations, including three game misconducts.

---New Jersey Devils forward Jaromir Jagr returned to practice on Tuesday after being sidelined since Sept. 12 because of lower body soreness.

Jagr had been skating on his own for a week but was held out of practice as a precaution. He skated Tuesday on a line with Michael Ryder and Adam Henrique.

It's the veteran winger's first year with New Jersey. He began the 2012-13 season with Dallas before getting traded to Boston right before the playoffs. For his career, Jagr has 681 goals and 1007 assists.

The New Jersey Devils signed free agent forward Damien Brunner to a multiyear contract, the team announced Tuesday.

Terms of the deal were not officially disclosed, but Brunner's agent, Neil Sheehy, announced on Twitter that the deal was for two years and $5 million.

The 27-year old had played professionally in his native Switzerland before joining the Detroit Red Wings in 2012-13. The forward finished with 12 goals and 14 assists in 44 games in his first NHL season, and added another five goals and four assists in the playoffs.

---Restricted free agent Derek Stepan continues to hold out, but New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather said it's time for the 23-year-old to wise up.

"He is going to get paid, but it isn't today," Sather said Monday during an MSG Network broadcast. "I hope he gets wiser because every day he misses is a big deal. We have offered him a very good deal. "

Stepan had a team-leading 44 points in 2012 with 18 goals and 26 assists in 48 games. The New York Post reported he wants a two-year, $7 million deal and that the two sides are about $1 million apart on the value of the deal. Stepan has a 212 consecutive games-played streak.
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