NHL-National Hockey League roundup


Sept 24 (The Sports Xchange) - 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.

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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.

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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. (Editing by Frank Pingue)

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