The NHL has suspended Toronto Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel for the rest of the pre-season (three games) following a stick-swinging incident Sunday night against the Buffalo Sabres.

Kessel was at the centre of a melee in the third period when Sabres enforcer John Scott attempted to engage the Leafs sniper in a fight.

As Kessel's teammates came to the 25-year-old's aid the Leaf player slashed Scott and took a second swing towards the forward's shin. For his part Kessel received both fighting and slashing penalties.

The Madison Wisconsin native also received a match penalty for his actions a ruling imposed for a deliberate attempt to injure a player.

Leafs forward David Clarkson was suspended 10 games on Monday for his part in the brawl for leaving the bench to participate in the altercation.