Saturday, December 14, 2013
Shawn Thornton Suspended For 15 Games After His Gutless Attack on Brooks Orpik
It took the NHL almost a week to come to their decision (no rush guys) but I'm sad to say that they made the right choice as they suspended Bruins winger Shawn Thornton for 15 games following his brutal punchout of Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik. It is the longest regular season suspension handed out by VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan.
I really haven't heard too much blowback from Bruins fans following this incident last Saturday night at TD Garden. Even if you are a huge Bruins honk, it is basically impossible to justify Thornton's slew foot of Orpik (who's not a fighter) followed by two punches right to his face when he was helpless on the ice.
The unfortunate part of this has to be what it will make people around North America think about Thornton moving forward. In New England, we know what a good guy he seems to be and how he's an honest player that never could be called dirty before that (he's never been fined or suspended). I fear that his legacy for many non-Bruins fans will be this and that is really too bad (granted I totally understand) considering the nice career he's put together including two Stanley Cups.
Thornton has already missed three games this week and Boston meets Vancouver tonight (10, NESN) in the final game of their four-city Western Canada road trip. It sounds like he might appeal the decision but I'd be surprised if the NHL changes anything about it. They really strung this out so you have to believe that they agonized over the suspension length. I guess we'll have to wait and see.