Toronto Maple Leafs forward David Clarkson has been handed a 10-game suspension by the National Hockey League.

Clarkson was assessed a 10-minute penalty for leaving the bench to join an altercation in the third period of the Leafs' Sunday night preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres.

NHL Rule 70.10 states: "The first player to leave the players' or penalty bench illegally during an altercation or for the purpose of starting an altercation from either or both teams shall be suspended without pay for the next 10 regular league and/or playoff games of his team."

Clarkson won't be eligible to make his Leafs debut until Oct. 25 when his team visits the Columbus Blue Jackets.