Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton was handed a 15-game suspension on Saturday afternoon, as a result of his after-the-play attack on Pittsburgh Penguins defender Brooks Orpik. The attack left Orpik unconscious on the ice and eventually he was forced to be taken off on a stretcher.
Orpik suffered a concussion and memory loss after the incident, while Thornton met with the NHL Player Safety Committee to learn the extent of his punishment.
While the decision was a 15-game ban, Thornton has the opportunity to appeal his suspension. However, as far as Thornton’s agent is concerned, they are unsure if they will appeal the NHL’s decision.
From Pierre LeBrun of ESPN and TSN:
Shawn Thornton’s agent Anton Thun says they’ll take a few days to figure out whether or not they’ll appeal. Obviously disappointed.
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) December 14, 2013
Thornton was handed the second longest suspension in the NHL since Brendan Shanahan took over the player safety committee, so it would be interesting to see if NHL commissioner Gary Bettman would overrule the decision.
If we had to guess, it would be unlikely that Thornton’s suspension would be reversed due to the nature of the attack and the fact that it came after the whistle.