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Scott Sabourin Suspended in the AHL

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He will serve his one game when he returns.

the Toronto Maple Leafs hold their annual Blue versus White inter-squad game Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

In the Friday night Marlies game vs the Laval Rocket, Scott Sabourin managed to make a big impact quickly.

He was recalled to the Taxi Squad after that game, and remains there today. The AHL decided to suspend Sabourin, and their release states:

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League today announced that Toronto Marlies forward Scott Sabourin has been suspended for one (1) game as a consequence of his actions in a game vs. Laval on Mar. 12.As he is currently on recall to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ taxi squad, Sabourin will serve the suspension the next time he is on an active AHL roster.

Sabourin, formerly of the Ottawa Senators was signed to an AHL contract in the offseason, and that contract was changed to an NHL deal on February 7, 2021. The prevailing theory was that the Leafs needed someone who would fight, euphemistically called “sandpaper”, with Wayne Simmonds on IR. Sabourin has yet to play in the NHL for the Leafs, but there’s always today as an option.

The original AHL penalties were two minutes for goalie interference, five minutes for fighting, and the game misconduct was for being the aggressor in the “fight” when the Laval player was not interested.

Many people have analysed the impact with Cayden Primeau in the Laval net to prove intent, but that’s irrelevant, since the misconduct and this suspension are not related to that part of his grand entrance to the Marlies.

In the past, players in the NHL on a suspension have been loaned to the AHL and have played there during their suspension. This hold on the AHL discipline until Sabourin is on the roster might be new, or it might be something that happens very rarely.

The Marlies play the Rocket again this evening, and Sabourin is not an integral part of the team that sports an NHL-capable top line of Alex Galchenyuk, Nic Petan and Alex Barabanov, so they’re fine, and if the Leafs choose to put him in the lineup for four minutes as they did Kenny Agostino, not much will matter in the NHL either.