Toronto Maple Leafs forward Scott Sabourin has earned himself a one game suspension from the American Hockey League, but as it turns out this may not matter a great deal.
First, according to Leafs insider James Mirtle, Sabourin was handed a one game suspension following his rampage on Friday against the Laval Rocket, the AHL affiliate team of the Montreal Canadiens, a rampage that came just 23 seconds into the game. I suspect that it was his attack on the Rocket's Lukas Vejdemo, the Rocket's leading scorer this season, that earned him the extra discipline but you could certainly point to the incident as a whole as well.
On Friday the Toronto Marlies were facing off against the Laval Rocket, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Montreal Canadiens, and it was just seconds into the game before Sabourin made his presence known in a major way. After a turnover by the Rocket at the blue line just 15 seconds into the game, Sabourin found himself with a great scoring opportunity.
Unfortunately as Sabourin tired to cut in front of the goaltender he did not create a scoring chance but instead managed to bulldoze the Rocket's goaltender which just happened to be Cayden Primeau on that night. The impact was so violent that it send Primeau sliding all the way across the ice until he was finally stopped by the boards where he would lay in the corner for a few moments before eventually getting back to his feet. Even more unfortunate for the Rocket was the fact that the pain was not over.
This was the moment in which Vejdemo made the mistake of getting involved. The Rocket's forward skated up to Sabourin, along with one of his Rocket teammates, and immediately began pushing and shoving as they objected to the bulldozing of Primeau. Sabourin however took this as a challenge and with two men closing in on him he immediately dropped his gloves and began to pummel Vejdemo with several stiff and unanswered shots to the head.
Vejdemo never so much as got his gloves off and it was quite clear that he was not at all happy with Sabourin's conduct after it was all said and done.
That being said, according to Mirtle, Sabourin is still eligible to play tonight as he has been called up by the Leafs, perhaps in anticipation of facing his former team the Ottawa Senators. Although he has an AHL suspension looming, it won't impact his ability to play at the NHL level.