As we all know, Phil "Trill" Kessel took his beloved "hackey" a little too literally on Sunday, going full Lumberjack/Jedi on John Scott’s completely oblivious ankles. We noticed it, the Sabres noticed it, and NHL Player Safety certainly did, suspending Kessel for the rest of the preseason.
Much like I said in my post yesterday, Kessel deserves supplemental discipline for what transpired. Was Scott right to jump him? No. Was Kessel defending himself with the first swing? Sure. But Kessel went back for a double and triple dip after two of his teammates had controlled Spott. It looked like one of the brawl scenes from The Rocket, without Sean Avery getting one punched for everybody’s viewing pleasure.
No matter how much we all appreciate his abilities, no player should be allowed to use his stick as a weapon for the sake of it, adrenaline or not. The explanation given seems to allow for the first swing, which is something we were all thinking in our heads, but I was hoping wouldn’t be said. Hopefully it doesn’t leave room for precedent.
As for the length, Kessel is incredilby lucky to get three games. He misses no regular season time (he would’ve probably only played one more preseason game anyway), and continues his streak of not missing a meaningful game for the Leafs since he made his debut in November 2009. The issue this gives Kessel comes in the fact that he’s now prone to being seen as a repeat offender. Seeing as he’s been very stick and mouth happy this preseason, this will be a sign that he should cool his jets a bit.
Meanwhile, David Clarkson is appealing his 10 games for leaving the bench, and Sabres coach Ron Rolston has recieved a questionable (in my opinion) fine for "inappropriate player selection" by putting Scott on after the Devane fight.
What do you think? Did Kessel recieve too much? Not enough? Or was the rest of the preseason the right amount of discipline?