Bruins' Thornton appealing 15-game suspension for attack on Penguins' Orpik - InfoNews

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Bruins' Thornton appealing 15-game suspension for attack on Penguins' Orpik

Boston Bruins right wing Shawn Thornton argues a call, Nov. 7, 2013, in Boston. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Charles Krupa
December 16, 2013 - 1:09 PM

Bruins tough guy Shawn Thornton has decided to appeal his 15-game suspension for punching and injuring unsuspecting Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik.

Thornton's agent, Anton Thun, confirmed in an email that his client was appealing. The NHL Players' Association announced it had informed the league of that plan before the 48-hour deadline to do so passed.

As laid out in the collective bargaining agreement, the appeal first goes to commissioner Gary Bettman. If Bettman upholds the suspension, Thornton and the NHLPA can then elect to appeal to a neutral arbitrator.

Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta is the only player to use this appeals process under the new CBA, and no player has gone to the neutral arbitrator. Bettman upheld Kaleta's 10-game suspension for an illegal hit on Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Jack Johnston.

Thornton got 15 games for slew-footing Orpik to the ice and landing gloved punches to his head during a game Dec. 7. The Pittsburgh defenceman was knocked unconscious and has not played since because of a concussion.

Vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan said it was not a spontaneous action by Thornton because he tried to confront Orpik earlier after Orpik injured Bruins winger Loui Eriksson with a hit.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2013
The Canadian Press

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