By the time David Clarkson’s latest suspension ends, the Toronto Maple Leafs will have played 35 games and Clarkson will have missed 12 of them due to supplemental discipline. Let’s hope for Toronto’s sake he doesn’t keep this pace up, or it’s going to be a long seven years.
Here’s the latest ban for Clarkson, after an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka on Thursday night:
From the NHL:
Toronto Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson has been suspended for two games, without pay, for delivering an illegal check to the head of St. Louis Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka during NHL Game No. 477 in St. Louis on Thursday, Dec. 12, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today. The incident occurred at 6:28 of the second period. Clarkson was assessed a minor penalty for illegal check to the head.
He’s a repeat offender, which may have some flinching at only two games. But please recall the 10-gamer is for hopping off the Leafs bench in the preseason to save Phil Kessel from a Murdersaurus.
I know there’s a passion from some to see suspensions continually escalate, but I think there’s a difference between an automatic ban for a rule designed to eliminate benches-clearing brawls and one that targets reckless, injurious plays. I’m OK with this not being 11 games; but it better be more than two for the next over-the-edge play.
Two games, for the record, is one less than what Adam Erne of the Lightning received for head-shotting the same player in the preseason. But those were three exhibition games, which is like fining someone for Monopoly money.
David Clarkson now has twice as many suspension games (12) as he does points (6). Good thing on one’s going to scrutinize that seven-year deal for $5.25-million a season cap hit …