Clarkson suspension gives other Leafs opportunity

Forward Joe Colborne jumps into the play during Leafs practice at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto,...

Forward Joe Colborne jumps into the play during Leafs practice at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto, Sept. 23, 2013. (DAVE ABEL/QMI Agency)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:07 PM ET

TORONTO - With a lengthy suspension having been handed down to David Clarkson, an excellent chance has presented itself to a number of Maple Leafs hopefuls.

There’s going to be a 10-game audition that wouldn’t have been available had Clarkson not left the bench to join a brawl in a pre-season game against the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday night at the Air Canada Centre.

“Now it gives another guy an opportunity,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “We have lots of bodies and we have people who have performed well. We have moved people in some situations.”

Trevor Smith, Joe Colborne, Carter Ashton, David Broll, Troy Bodie — any one of them could take the bull by the horns until Oct. 25, when Clarkson would return from a suspension that the NHL had yet to officially announce.

“I feel like the last couple of games especially I have started to assert myself a little more and just feel more confident,” Colborne said. “I think it’s just to continue to do what I have been doing.”


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