A Review of NHL's Preseason Suspensions

The first player to get a suspension in the preseason was Paul Bissonnette from the Phoenix Coyotes. He was one player I had picked before the preseason games had even started to be a top fighter for his team. The reason for his suspension was because he left the teams bench to fight top fighter Jordan Nolan from the LA Kings during a preseason game. Reason for doing so was because Nolan had an open-ice hit on Klesla which sent Klesla off the ice in a stretcher. Fans were mad that Nolan did not get any suspension for the hit but Bissonnette did for leaving the bench.

The next player was Adam Erne ,who got suspended for three preseason games for an illegal check on Blues forward Vladimir Sobotka. The check was directed at his head and Erne only received a three preseason game suspension. He later apologized for this hit saying when he turned around Sobotka was right there and it just happened.

The Toronto Maple Leafs preseason game took place between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Buffalo Sabres. In this game the outcome was two fights and one fine. Phil Kessel received one of the more disappointing penalties according to fans from all different teams. Not because they don’t like him but he was technically using his stick to slash John Scott after Scott jumped him. Kessel used the excuse of self defence and only received a suspension for the last preseason games…which in hockey is nothing.

Another top Toronto player also involved in this brawl was David Clarkson. He received a 10 (regular season) game suspension for leaving the bench to join a brawl between the two teams. He said in an interview that mostly his heart makes the decisions and not his head. Because of that he will play the rest of the preseason games and he will travel with the team to stay in shape but will not be allowed to play. It was a mistake he made and now he is living with the consequences.

The coach for the Buffalo Sabres Ron Rolston got fined for player selection and team conduct. After the fight between Corey Tropp and Jamie Devane, Rolston put on John Scott on the ice and it initiated another altercation. I don’t find this was intentional on the coaches part because lines switch so often during a game but he could have realized who was on the ice and switched the players around until emotions calmed down.

Vancouver Canucks are down two players. Zack Kassian got an eight game suspension (three preseason and five regular season) when he slashed Oilers forward Sam Gagner across the face. That slash caused Sam Gagner to have a broken jaw and out indefinitely. Even though it may have not been intentional, they gave him the suspension because Kassian turned and swung his stick before hitting the boards which appeared to look intentional.

Finally our last suspension so far in the pre-season is for top fighter Dale Weise of the Vancouver Canucks. His suspension for the rest of the preseason was for an illegal check on Taylor Hall of the Edmonton Oilers. Though preseason game suspensions are not much they just show what the fans can expect for the upcoming season as well as keeping an eye on if our top fighters will remain on top.

 

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