Posted December 24, 2013

Gary Bettman upholds Bruins forward Shawn Thornton’s 15-game suspension

NHL
Bruins forward Shawn Thornton will forfeit $84,615 for a hit that left Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik unconscious on Dec. 7. (Jared Wickersham/Getty Image)

Shawn Thornton’s hit left Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik unconscious on Dec. 7. (Jared Wickersham/Getty Image)

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Tuesday upheld the 15-game suspension originally assessed Dec. 14 to Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton, according to a report from the NHL Department of Player Safety.

The 36-year-old had punched Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik in the first period of the Bruins’ 3-2 win at on home Dec. 7. Bettman’s decision comes days after the commissioner heard Thornton’s appeal at a Dec. 20 hearing in New York. Thornton will also forfeit $84,615.45 because of the suspension.

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Orpik, who was unconscious on the ice following the incident, was taken to a Boston-area hospital and released. Thornton later admitted in a report from Boston Globe reporter Fluto Shinzawa that he felt awful about the incident but that it’s his job to protect his players:

“Listen, I feel awful. It wasn’t my intention. I know Brooksy, I’ve gotten to know him over the last 7 years here, I skate with him in the summer, through the lockout. I’ve texted him a couple of times. I definitely feel awful. It was not what I wanted to see or what anyone wanted to see.”

The Bruins, currently 25-10 and first in the Atlantic Division, are in a race for the top spots in the Eastern Conference with the Pittsburgh Penguins, currently 27-11 and first in the Metropolitan Division.

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7 comments
sldghammer
sldghammer

Did Neal hit Marchand on purpose?

roderiques5898
roderiques5898

While I agree that a suspension was warranted  I feel this was too long. James Neal( a repeat offender) knees Marchand in the head(after he was tripped by Crosby with no call) and only gets 5 games. Kelly gets slashed hard enough to break his leg and no call or suspension. Granted Marchand was able to complete the game but this suspension reeks of team favoritism by the NHL. Everyone in the league wants to protect their golden boy Crosby. You want to suspend Thornton for as long as it takes for Orpik to get back to playing then make that league wide so the next time a Penguin (Matt Cooke) ends someones career then theirs ends too. Thornton is not a goon like some teams enforcers are. What he did was wrong and he owns up to it unlike Neal whosays he never saw Marchand

parkbrav
parkbrav

that was a mean target by Thornton

tlm773458
tlm773458

Many sports players in the NHL, NFL, NBA and MLB think that since they are stars rules should not apply to them. Anyone who does this kind of damage to another person during the game should be removed from the game, suspended the ENTIRE remainder of that season with forfeiture of pay.  When these little boys wake up and realize they will be losing hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions, they will grow up real quick

Shorty51
Shorty51

Although some of these suspensions seem a bit out of hand, I am coming to be of the opinion when someone inflicts harm that knocks an opponent out for multiple games, the suspension should be from the time of the incident, but the actual suspension game count should begin when the wrongfully harmed player RETURNS to play.

sldghammer
sldghammer

And what doe that had to do with Thorton/ Orpik?

Shorty51
Shorty51

@roderiques5898 If Thorton had committed a similar act in the parking lot, he would have been in jail, and would be facing both criminal and civil penalties. He went entirely outside the boundaries of the game. Thorton did not really "Own Up" since he fought the suspension.

You need to check on who plays where...Cooke is no longer a Pen, largely a result of the failure of the public (i.e. people like you) to acknowledge the fact that he cleaned up his game. And I stand by the statement I made earlier...he as well should have been out of the game until ANY injured player returns, then suspended for whatever number of games. Keep in mind the Savard hit WAS reviewed by the league and was deemed not worthy of a suspension (I disagree).

If the NHLPA and the Owners WANT to fix it, they can/could, but they tolerate it because they believe Olympic style hockey would not sell in a society that is fed a constant diet of violence.

You also seem to forget how many games Crosby lost to a no call that was on video. That could and should be reviewed as well.  It would seem your discussion is tainted with bias. 

Get the back alley play OUT OF THE GAME--PERIOD!  If the NHLPA and the Owners WANT to fix it, they can/could, but they tolerate it because they believe Olympic style hockey would not sell in a society that is fed a constant diet of violence.