In the Marlies game against the Binghamton Devils on Wednesday, Morgan Klimchuk did this:

Now he’s suspended for three games.

Klimchuk was suspended under the provisions of AHL Rule 21.1 after being assessed a match penalty. He will miss Toronto’s games Friday (Dec. 21) at Laval, Saturday (Dec. 22) at Laval and Wednesday (Dec. 26) vs. Belleville.

The game on the 26th is the Boxing Day Classic in the SBA, so he’ll miss out on a game that the Leafs brass often watches because there is no other hockey going on.

Klimchuk was acquired in a trade for Andrew Nielsen on November 28. He has two goals and no assists in nine games with the Marlies after scoring only eight points in 17 games in Stockton. He has two prior AHL seasons with 19 goals and 40 points, but he’s running out of time to show that sort of ability this season. Missing three games for an unnecessary open-ice hit that was also unnecessarily dirty isn’t going to help.

Since arriving with the team, Klimchuk has played fourth-line wing, and has yet to make any sort of case for promotion off of it. The Marlies called up AHL-contracted Scott Pooley from the ECHL, and he could easily take that spot in the lineup. Klimchuk, who is 23, and on a two-way $700,000 NHL contract, has taken another step back on a team that was meant to be his fresh start. All he can do now is make 2019 better than 2018.