Skip to content

Shawn Thornton confirms hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety (Updated)

Dec 7, 2013, 10:28 PM EDT

Pittsburgh Penguins v Boston Bruins Getty Images

Shawn Thornton found out quickly that he’ll have a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety for an ugly incident Saturday night.

He relayed information of his scheduled hearing to reporters following a 3-2 Bruins come-from-behind win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.

It appears Thornton is facing a lengthy suspension after he pulled Penguins’ defenseman Brooks Orpik to the ice and punched him multiple times, resulting in Orpik being taken off the ice on a stretcher.

The NHL Department of Player Safety announced via Twitter that Thornton will have an in-person hearing, which means his suspension can exceed five games. A date and time for that hearing has not been announced.

“I made a mistake. I can’t say I’m sorry enough times. That’s all I can say right now,” Thornton said afterward, according to Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com.

“It was definitely awful. It’s not what you want to see. Its not what anybody wants to see. Ive felt sick all (game).”

Thornton was assessed a match penalty for the incident, which occurred during a scrum in the Pittsburgh zone.

The Penguins announced via Twitter that Orpik was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital and was “alert and conscious.”

  1. cheesesteak75 - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:42 PM

    Throw the book at him. No room in the game for crap like that.

    • lindbergh9 - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:02 PM

      Once a POS always a POS!!! Seems like Boston has a lot of these type of players. Hockey 2nd Goon 1st!!! Throw the book @ this Goon!!!!

      • peterjohnjoseph - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:07 PM

        As long as Neal can get the book thrown at him too. I can’t read this crap anymore. I get Thornton’s part, he deserves 20+ games and he’ll get it, but the blatant inability for anyone to see the fact that had Eriksson or Marchand been stretchered off first you wanted be calling an entire city and team trash. Perspective man. All of you need to find one.. I need stop reading all this, you guys are making me sick. If anyone tries to twist my words to say I think was Thornton did was alright, you are completely missing my point. My point is how can you call a town trash just because a stretcher was used for one guy, but because a guy the league hates didn’t end up on one, its ok, and Boston is still trash.

      • micasa81 - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:41 AM

        There are plenty of over the top “B’s can do no wrong” leghumpers on this site, but I’ve read enough of your posts to know you’re not one of them. The Bruins aren’t trash, the Pens aren’t trash, and neither are their respective cities, but at the moment Thornton is looking like a-hole #1, even if Neal made it a close race. There are, unfortunately, enough undisciplined, disrespectful players in the league that this gong show could easily have happened in any of the 30 NHL arenas. Does that make you feel better?

        As for the “what if it had been Marchand” bit, you have a fair point. As much as he has behaved like a tool in times past, it’s not like his brain functioning properly is of less importance than Orpik’s. I don’t think people are really thinking what they are saying when they make these kinds of comments. But, lest you despair that everyone’s piling on the Bruins, it was less than a week ago that a bunch of B’s fans were trolling a Canucks article, rejoicing that Burrows broke his jaw. This is how it goes.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:13 AM

        Go away peterjohnjosepheater, or just stop posting. Once you acknowledged being a Flyers fan, your bias eliminates you from commenting on the Pens. They’re a better team than the Flyers, just get over it already.

        That fact that you’re “glad Shawn Thorton did what he did” proves you’re an idiot.

    • tackledummy1505 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:30 AM

      lol you must be joking right? I’m sorry (Flyers Fan here) but the Penguins have always been a dirty team and they get away with this stuff because they’re never heavily fined or suspended. Malkin has given cheap shots, Neal has given cheap shots, the trip a lone in this game by Crosby is a cheap shot and that wasn’t even called with the head ref looking right at it. The NHL has their team in the Pittsburg Penguins and as long as this team can injure and do whatever they want, the rest of the league will have to enforce their team any way they possibly can. James Neal should be suspended for 50+ games. This isn’t the first time he has tried to seriously injure a player by going for the head. Sean Couturier was head hunted by Neal as well in the playoffs and Neal only got 2 games. Matt Cook last year puts out the Senators best d-man and because he said he didn’t know what he was doing they let it slide. 5 years ago when Malkin punched a guy in the head on the faceoff they didn’t even do anything because they said his hand slipped, when you can clearly see him cock back his glove and punch the guy. It’s a joke and I’m glad Shawn Thorton did what he did. It’s hockey people and if the league isn’t going to do anything about it then the players should. Did the NHL comment or do anything to Sidney Crosby when Claude Giroux had to get surgery on both wrist because Crosby was blatantly whacking away at his wrists on faceoffs? Nope, you want someone to blame, blame the NHL for never coming down on their baby the Penguins and allowing such bull crap to continue on their side of the puck.

      • btpdiddy - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:30 AM

        Tackledummy, that was honestly the dumbest thing i’ve ever read.

    • naterealgood - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      I think a lot of people forget this is a team sport. Each individual is representing their team. Your actions directly affect your team whether it be a win, a loss, or in this case an injury.

      Orpik green lights Erikson a skill player. Right then and there he puts his skill players in jeopardy and opens the the flood gates on his team’s skill players. Everyone knows it. That’s how hockey goes. I’m certainly not saying it’s not a chance you want to take because I think it was the right move for Orpik to set the tone.

      The only way to wave the greenlight hit on said is to answer the bell. Orpik declines (could have been coach’s call). Right then and there the Pens put themselves; collectively AS A TEAM. They had an out.

      Here comes Neal with a blatant intent to seriously and SELFISHLY hurt Marchand. Knees him in the head and then skates off the ice. Guess what?? The TEAM must pay. Thornton grabs the original instigator and pummels him. He did it for the TEAM.

      Thornton is a stand up player who does his job well within the lines of the NHL’s self policing. He did nothing wrong. Simply did what he’s played to do. Its called offensive defense. Its each teams choice whether or not they want to employ someone like him. Like I said it’s a TEAM game. My bet is the B’s end up OK after this. We’ll see them on top of the East

  2. pensman29 - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    Emotions can get the best of someone but still, that’s just too far. He was targeting orpik

    • peterjohnjoseph - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:56 PM

      I’m going to say this for my second time in the same post to someone. What is Marchand had been stretchered out 10 seconds beforehand? What, because its Marchand it doesn’t matter? Yeah, Thornton went too far. Its obvious they were jarring at each other. Thornton fights, but I have never seen him legit snap. Its not like someone has never got on top of someone during a game. Ask Malkin. He got on top of Bergeron and kept swinging. He wasn’t stretchered out, so we forgot about it. I don’t condone ANY of this. My point is, come on, you can’t just look at it with Penguin tinted glasses here. Or any bias at all. It was two teams that went over the edge, and people got hurt. On both sides. Just because a stretcher is involved doesn’t make it any better or any worse.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:18 AM

        Marchand deserves to get kneed in the head. What about all the rabbit punches he threw at one of the Sedin’s a couple of years ago with no penalty?

        It was one team that went over the edge. Boston lost it when Orpik laid that clean, textbook check on Eriksson. Boston can’t handle a good hard clean check, that’s why Chara ended up with the penalty. They aren’t hockey players, they are a bunch of thugs, wannabe goons, on skates.

        Chicago exposed that last year when they said they were going to go right after Chara and they literally did and went right through him to win the cup; it literally happened, watch the replay of the final 1:20 of that game.

        Montreal exposed them again the other night. Boston can’t skate with a skill team.

    • dropthepuckeh - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:02 PM

      Targeted him because Orpik took Eriksson out of the game with a hit when Loui never touched the puck. He is not completely innocent in all of this. What if Eriksson stayed on the ice instead of finding his way to the bench and locker room? Enough drama for you to realize it was also a cheap play? Neal kneeing Marchand in the head, again bc he isn’t knocked out it is okay? WTF is Neal doing – he has to be the biggest pus in the league – how big is he and yet a constant cheap shot artist. How about every time Letang gets checked he SLASHES the guy that hits him. Is there a rule he isn’t supposed to be hit? Bunch of diving frauds.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:33 AM

        Wow, still perpetuating that myth, eh?!

        Orpik made a great play that any of 50 other defensemen would have made; shoulder to breastbone textbook clean check. When has “never touched the puck” been a problem when the Bruins are delivering a dirty hit?

        The problem is Eriksson, like Marchand, Horton and several other Bruins before him, has not learned to skate with his head up. I’ve got a $100 bill that says he’s going to learn that real quick.

        The rest of all this discussion is just noise and it all started because one of the Bruins got hammered on a clean hit. They should learn to just man up and play hockey.

  3. muckleflugga - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:44 PM

    aside from his blatant stupidity and unerring ability to demonstrate the extent to which incompetent nhl officiating, uneven application of the laws of the game and farcical schedule of discipline can embarrass the league, i see nothing in it for thornton…

    datsyuk’s gone six games and counting on the first accidental elbow in the history of the game, so thornton should walk with a caution and two free tickets to maui

    keep in mind, orpik’s been released from the hospital and is happily travelling with his team…following shanahan’s methodology, no injury, no foul

    tralala lala

  4. spicyjimbolaya - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:47 PM

    Bertuzzi all over again.

  5. joewilliesshnoz - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:49 PM

    Bruins = trash.

    • peterjohnjoseph - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:51 PM

      Right, because if Marchand had been the one leaving in a stretcher literally 10 seconds before, would we be saying any of this? We don’t know what was said between the two. Orpik put Erikkson out of the game on a questionable hit himself. How often do these things result in a knockout.. like um.. Malkin getting on top of Bergeron in the finals and continuing to swing? Come on man.. Its all in the eyes of the beholder.

      • mp1131211 - Dec 8, 2013 at 4:02 AM

        And in your case, the beholder obviously only listens to games called by Jack Edwards.

    • hockeyflow33 - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:53 PM

      Eriksson was also concussed, does this mean the Penguins are trash as well?

      • peterjohnjoseph - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:00 PM

        See how because I said Marchand I get negative thumbs, but you say Eriksson and and you get two? Does this not prove to everyone that this all is in the eyes of the person viewing it? Come on people.. What if Eriksson had been on a stretcher first? Or Marchand? It doesn’t make any of this right, but how can you call the town trash when the only difference was one person was taken directly to a hospital, another avoided it, and another will go to one later?

      • hockeyflow33 - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:11 PM

        Oh I’ll get more thumbs down, just give it time haha

      • mp1131211 - Dec 8, 2013 at 4:04 AM

        We don’t know what Ericksons concussion symptoms are from though. Could have just been dropped as a baby, right?

      • hockeyflow33 - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        Nope, the concussion occurred from this hit.

      • bullwinkle88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 1:20 PM

        Eriksson skates with his head down. He asks for it.

  6. charlieconway96 - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    Any word on wether or not Neal will get any extra discipline for the knee? Such an ugly game.

  7. sabatimus - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:55 PM

    That apology statement, if he believes it, is a start. I really hope Thornton DID feel sick. Just think about that other player lying in a hospital bed right now. Remember that guilt. And pray that he’s not paralyzed.

    • peterjohnjoseph - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:03 PM

      He’s not paralyzed… He got knocked out..

    • dropthepuckeh - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:09 PM

      Dude he is flying home with the team don’t get ahead of yourself. Only damage was to his glass chin…

  8. mikemaric - Dec 7, 2013 at 10:56 PM

    Optics are everything. A guy gets stretchered off and Thornton will get suspended. At first it didn’t look too bad, but you have to live with the results.

    Neal should get a hefty suspension too, even though it was on Marchand.

  9. mc321984 - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:16 PM

    Remember this Thorton?

    • dropthepuckeh - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      At least he fought him and and didn’t turtle. Took it like a man. You don’t win them all but at least you try.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 9, 2013 at 10:36 AM

        Looks like he’s turtling like Claude Lemieux on that one. Bwaaaahahahahahaha.

  10. nhstateline - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:25 PM

    this was unacceptable and unprofessional. A lengthy suspension is in order. I’ve said before that I would not defend a Bruin player who did something like this and I won’t. He needs to be punished extensively for this. In our section, nobody defended his actions and everyone expects that a long suspension is forthcoming. It’s very appropriate in this situation.

  11. nhstateline - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:29 PM

    He should get a long suspension for this. It’s not something that should be defended or condoned.

  12. irokkit - Dec 7, 2013 at 11:37 PM

    Let me just say this….

    All of you that claim to be fans of hockey….

    You’re insults and condemnation for the offender is disgusting.
    All of you Penguins fans that are calling for Thornton’s head….YOU ARE BLIND!!!

    Neal, a gifted talented player intentionally Knees another player in the head when the player is down and out on the ice. How many Penguins fans are calling for Neal’s head????
    I am not separating the two incidents. Both players had a serious lapse of judgement.
    Both players deserve supplemental discipline….that is all.
    Move on, get over it.
    Hockey is a very, very psychical sport, injuries happen, intended or not. During the game and during fights.
    To the jerk that called Thornton, Bertuzzi. You are ignorant.
    To all else, remember…this is professional hockey, not basketball or football or badminton.

    Disclaimer…I want no players career to be shortened by the direct result of any other players carelessness!!!!!!.

    • mordock57 - Dec 8, 2013 at 3:13 AM

      Hockey IS a physical sport. Injuries DO happen during play, intended or not. Neither of those points have ANYTHING to do with what Thornton did. Hockey was not being played. He skated halfway across the rink to sneak up behind Orpik, drag him off his skates backwards, and assault him with an elbow and several fists. This was not a physical hockey injury… this was a sucker punch attack that should sicken anyone who watched it. Thornton deserves to be arrested and charged with a crime, because if that same sequence of events happened anywhere but on the ice, that is what would happen. You can stop comparing it to anything that actually happened DURING the game, because this had nothing to do with hockey. Nothing that came before in this game justifies it. Nothing.

      • shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:02 PM

        Are you seriously trying to say that what Neal did was unintentional and just “part of the game”? If so, you are exactly the kind of blind moron he was complaining about. As far as “bring arrested”, Thornton did not hit him THAT hard. Orpik was released from the hospital after a couple hours and will travel with the team. If there was ANY significant injury, he would have been held back for observation. Meanwhile, Eriksson has ANOTHER concussion, Kelly was injured and can’t travel, and Neal once again cried wolf on a blatant headshot that could have resulted in serious injury. But all these “unbiased” fans see the picture clearly, right? The bruins CLEARLY abused the penguins and crossed the line multiple times, right? Clearly the penguins got the worst of this gongshow, and the villainous bruins are laughing away. Its funny to read all these comments about how”I don’t wanna to see anyone hurt” but no seems to care at all about the injured bruins, they just wanna try to use this as an excuse to bash the organization

    • mp1131211 - Dec 8, 2013 at 4:08 AM

      You’re a dying breed. Thank god.

  13. nicknyhc - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:05 AM

    Oh look, everything the Penguins do is right, and everything another team does against the Penguins is wrong.

    • mp1131211 - Dec 8, 2013 at 4:10 AM

      Holy sh**, I hate the penguins. Thornton had no excuse for that.

  14. mikemaric - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:23 AM

    Can’t people just make a point without having to bring the level of “class” of some team’s fans? This is where the Latin phrase ad hominem came from I guess.

    Pens and Bs fans both look silly in this banter.

  15. muckleflugga - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:40 AM

    mikemaric

    re: ad hominem, too right…good one

  16. muckleflugga - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:45 AM

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ad_hominem

  17. ironmd778 - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    These comments sections are a toilet bowl of filth. Bunch low life keyboard tough guys.

  18. canada2014gold - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:57 AM

    “What iif’s” don’t mean crap, there is a line you don’t cross. Slew footing an unwilling participant and pounding his head while he’s down is cheap and cowardly. Bruins have the worst rap for playing that type of hockey, this confirms why.

    • dropthepuckeh - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:38 AM

      The worst rap? According to who, you? At least the Bruins will fight when the time comes to atone for your actions. Pitt dishes out cheap shots and stick work all the time and then hides behind the refs. Is there something written in the new rules that says Neil, Crosby and Letang aren’t allowed to be hit and get do whatever they want?

      • Moop - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:35 AM

        Thank you, dropthepuckeh. I’m completely sick of people staying stuff like the Bruins have “the worst rap for playing that type of hockey” and then not backing it up. Usually if there is any more to their argument than that, it’s along the lines of “Well they have Milan Lucic!!!!”.

        Look, nobody is saying Thornton didn’t cross a line. He was stupid and deserves whatever suspension the league will hand down to him, though I think it’s going to be shorter than what all these “ban him for life” supporters on this website would like. But to insinuate that what Thornton did last night is nothing out of the ordinary for a Boston Bruins player is stupid and entirely wrong.

      • logicalcomment - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:23 AM

        “Thank you, dropthepuckeh. I’m completely sick of people staying stuff like the Bruins have “the worst rap for playing that type of hockey” and then not backing it up. ”
        ——————————–

        Bruins attacking smaller non-fighters canadiens, hitting with elbow pad, etc
        PLENTY of stuff like that on youtube,

        BRUINS ARE TRASH

  19. irokkit - Dec 8, 2013 at 1:21 AM

    Canada2014gold

    Please use autocorrect. Edit your name accordingly.
    Canada2014potmetal.

    Ps
    F**k Yooooooooou!

  20. canada2014gold - Dec 8, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    Did I touch a nerve there pal, must be a bruins fan.

  21. beermeone - Dec 8, 2013 at 2:53 AM

    Well, I hope he’s alright. And I hope the bruins rot in hell. Thornton will do but prefer Lucic!

  22. broadstreetbeatdown - Dec 8, 2013 at 3:33 AM

    Funny how Thornton recognizes he made a stupid idiotic and dangerous move and expresses extreme remorse, while current reigning douchebag James Neal says, I kinda, shoulda, maybe moved my knee away from Marchand’s noggin, but I gotta look at the replay first. I don’t want to see any player get hurt but someone needs to plaster this jerk.

  23. jaker85 - Dec 8, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    As a Pens fan and a hockey I think this sucks for both teams but the bigger problem is this piece of trash Bob McKenzie calling the NHL network saying it’s Orpik fault because he didn’t “answer the bell” and fight after he hit Eriksson. What a dumbass thing to say and if you look for that quote it has been remove from tsn and NHL tonight reruns. Great job covering up for this jerk off.

    • shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 5:22 AM

      Well he’s not wrong. Are you gonna tell me if orpik drops the gloves with Thornton there that any of the ensuing bs from both sides happens? Absolutely not.There was no call on a blatant headshot on Eriksson, orpik refused to man up for it and tempers flared when Neal threw another cheap shot on the bruins. Also Orpik is fine, while Eriksson is not. Neither is Kelley. But no one wants to talk about that because they’re bruins and are just “trash” and “scumbags”. Easily could have been marchand on the stretcher if he sold it as well as orpik… Then this would be a different story

      • cavafox - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:45 AM

        Ummm… it wasn’t a headshot, it was a clean hit.. Get your glasses checked.

        (Note: referring to Orpik on E, NOT Neal, that was dirty)

      • micasa81 - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:51 AM

        Just because the majority of the hockey community buys into the idea of players policing themselves, doesn’t mean it’s a good one. It doesn’t even stand up under its own scrutiny. For example, you think he should “man up” for the hit he delivered. Problem is, to me, and to lots of people outside Boston, it looks like a perfectly clean hit. Do players have to drop the gloves for legal hits? If so, why?? You’re saying that Orpik’s refusal to fight is the primary cause of all the ensuing BS, and ultimately, his own hospitalization. I see it differently: to me it looked like Thornton’s fist/elbow were more the primary case. How about you zoom out a little bit and try to imagine a situation in which “the code” doesn’t dictate that Thornton, a member of one team and thus not the most objective person on the ice, becomes judge, jury and executioner about an incident that the actual objective people on the ice, i.e. the referees, have deemed legal.

      • shaundre93 - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:50 AM

        Cavafox, how is that clean? I’ve watched the replay. Exactly where does Eriksson play the puck? Never came close to getting the puck and orpik blew him up when he was unsuspecting. If Crosby takes that hit from chara its more of the same anti bruins pens do no wrong bs from everyone here. It was absolutely a cheap hit and he absolutely made head contact. Maybe Eriksson should just have laid on the ice and scared everyone only to find out he’s released from the hospital a few hours later with no significant injury. I’m willing to bet Eriksson, Kelly and even boychuck are out longer than orpik, but no one cares, because that wouldn’t abide by their anti bruin agenda

      • jaker85 - Dec 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM

        He sold it!? Yeah hockey players and athletes in general are known to wanna look weak and have to get STRETCHER off the playing surface! Your a dope! Its a shame Eriksson and Kelly got hurt but you don’t kick someones feet out sucker punch them. Marchand plays like a dirtbag so is it any surprise he got cheap shooted? Neal is getting that reputation so if he takes a cheat shot you won’t hear me complain.

  24. mp1131211 - Dec 8, 2013 at 4:13 AM

    Thornton should feel sick. I hope he never plays another day in the NHL.

  25. shortsxit34 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:24 AM

    There’s no condoning either play. Both should result in 5+ games, but we already know Neil’s won’t.
    It’s ridiculous that the only reason this is a big deal is because Orpik got hurt. If nobody was hurt, this would all be a non-story.

    That’s the way this league and Shanahan work, and they openly admit to it. They punish results rather than intent; we see it all the time with boarding calls. Neil and Thornton’s actions were equally disgusting and dangerous, but Neil only has a phone hearing since Marchand wasn’t hurt, while Thornton has an in person hearing and will undoubtedly have the book thrown at him.

    Case in point, it was only last month when we had the incident with Emery. Emery skated the entire length of the ice, dropped the gloves to fight an unwilling and unprovoked opponent, and threw at least two dozen punches with his bare fists to a player in a vulnerable position (including holding him from behind and continuously punching him from behind in the back of the head.)

    Thornton dragged down a guy that was responsible for taking out their star player, and threw a few punches to a vulnerable player with his gloves on.

    Bettman and Shanahan both claimed there would be no supplementary discipline because there are no rules against Emery’s actions other than the major for fighting and a game misconduct. That decision set a terrible precedent; and, in theory, Thornton shouldn’t be suspended.

    Again, there’s no defending Thornton’s actions, they’re absolutely inexcusable. But the league’s stupid rules, hypocrisy, and “It’s only suspendable when it results in injury” criteria is getting out of hand.

  26. ironmd778 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    When you piece everything together, yeah, Orpik should have manned up to Thornton. Bob McKenzie is not wrong.

  27. Hockeyfan - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:38 AM

    You can hardly compare a”bump” to the head of Marchand who then embellished it as he was already down to Thornton throwing Orpik to the ice and punching him when he is down. Neal was wrong and should be disciplined if only for the sheer stupidity of the action. Thornton deserves a long suspension without question and not because of the injury. This was not a fight. This was an attack. Sounds like Thornton knows it by his comments.
    And you can’t justify it by saying Orpik took out their” star” player. It was clearly a clean hit.

    Shaurdre: The Boston announcers were way out of line with their comments. That whole ” manup” comment was ridiculous. Orpik had no reason to engage in a fight at that point in the game.

    • gerrharr66 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:39 AM

      I don’t know, man, Orpik’s hit was more than a bit predatory. Eriksson was just turning to head up ice and track the puck and Orpik saw and took his chance to clean his clock. It was cheap and dirty – not ‘clean’ as you and so many others suggest – and his victim was one of those ‘skill players’, a non-physical top six guy. Nothing’s going to get the blood boiling more that, Answering the bell when someone comes calling to right things has been how players police the game forever, the idea being if you’re going to play like that you’d better be prepared to defend yourself if someone takes issue with it. No one can condone what Thornton did, but that aside, fighting Orpik was the right thing to do – the primary reason IMHO that fighting is still allowed in the league. Orpik had EVERY reason to engage in a fight at that point in the game. It’s about keeping players honest. Until they remove fighting from the game that ‘code’ will exist.

  28. junterberger22 - Dec 8, 2013 at 7:53 AM

    I can’t stand the bruins. Or their media. Such an arrogant town that can dismiss their owns action any time with the dumbest of reasoning. The bruins media actually said that if or pick would have fought Thornton he would have had what happened to him happen. First off brooks hit was body on body. Wasn’t a blind side wasn’t a head shot just a hard open ice check. Neal hit Marchand in the head and couldn’t have happened to a better player. Does everyone remember when brad boarded James Neal and only got 2 min when the same exact hit happened earlier in the same game and Cooke got 5. Such a joke this should be a record setting suspension. Totally disgusting. Neal is due for a phone hearing and Thornton has an in person.

    • gerrharr66 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:47 AM

      Argh – can we PLEASE stop condemning an entire fan base because of the opinions of a few loudmouthed idiots? Don’t these types exist everywhere? Why is it so easy to just lump everyone who lives in the area into the same group? Good and bad people everywhere, man

  29. steelers88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:09 AM

    Tackledummy1505.
    Your a Flyers fan talking about how dirty the Penguins are? I find that hilarious because your team was built goonishism. You need to look in the mirror your Philadelphia Flyers aren’t darlings either. By the way what with Rinaldo yesterday? I can show you many examples of that goon NHL franchise in Philadelphia.

  30. steelers88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 8:49 AM

    The thing is Orpik’s is not a dirty player. His a hard hitter but not a dirty hitter. I’m sorry but Orpik’s was clean. Eriksson probably got a concussion when hit his on the ice.

    • ironyisadeadscene - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:36 AM

      No s#$% dummy but the hit was unnecessary, the puck was away and eriksson was headed up ice to get back in the play. He launched himself at Eriksson so that he would get injured…there’s no way he WOULDN’T have bounced his head off the ice with that force. Hope Orpik is hurting bad.

  31. mclovinhockey - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    10 games at minimum.

  32. mclovinhockey - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Hope Orpik is alright

  33. mclovinhockey - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Hope Orpik is alright

    • oneshu1220 - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      I hope he enjoys his headache. After the ineptitude of the refs, the blatant bs from the pens, Thornton provided the correct response. You clwns can whine all you like, Orpik and the pretty little penguin got what they deserved.

  34. mclovinhockey - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    Hope Orpik is alright

    • cmpuck - Dec 8, 2013 at 4:31 PM

      Wasn’t really sure you were hoping he was alright until the third post..

  35. muckleflugga - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    irokkit

    potmetal…

    a classic, love it, thank youuuuuuuuuu

  36. jungadler - Dec 8, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    not a bruins or penguins fan here.. anything that is done after the play is over takes it to a whole different level.. Should be suspended for the remainder of the season.. anything less will not be enough to make any impact on Thornton nor would it deter anyone else from doing these kind of actions again.

  37. drewsylvania - Dec 8, 2013 at 11:55 AM

    Congrats, NHL. You just reaped what you’ve sown. Missing 3-5 games isn’t a deterrent, and never has been. Which means head hits are still going on, in a neverending retaliation game.

    Start suspending these guys for half-seasons without pay, at least. That would stop the headhunting.

  38. blastfurnaceknows - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    Wow, there are some real class acts posting on this article and the previous one. To those Bruins fans who minimize or justify this egregious assault, I truly feel sorry for you. Your lives must truly be meaningless. And I have read and understand that many from that fan base have taken a very different, objective approach, by acknowledging the obvious basement-dwelling conduct or otherwise communicating shame for the episode.

    It is long past time that the NHL draw a line in the sand with the after-the-whistle BS. I don’t care who does it or for what team they play for, the NHL should, and I mean right NOW, say loud and clear that this will no longer be tolerated, The only way to do that is set a precedent now – say 30 to 50 games. From this point forward, all players should be aware that if they do something like this they are out of the league for MONTHS and hurting their team and teammates’ entire seasons. I’m so sick of this garbage and the NHL should be, too.

  39. rusty71 - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    Being stretchered off should prompt a suspension ? Boychuk was stretchered off a few games ago , no suspension for Pacioretty …. of course.

    • drewsylvania - Dec 8, 2013 at 12:47 PM

      You didn’t see either hit.

  40. bullwinkle88 - Dec 8, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    First, I hate both teams, so I am not approaching this with any bias.

    But Neal’s knee to Marchand didn’t seem all that deliberate. He certainly didn’t go out of his way to do it. Marchand seemed to be in the wrong spot…i.e. the path that Neal was skating. In fact Neal didn’t even look at him as he skated by, so it wasn’t deliberate.

    Thornton’s cowardly attack on Orpik was reprehensible. He should be banned for the season. Orpik let it be known that he didn’t want to fight Thornton and that should have been it. Instead Thornton slew foots him and hammers him when he’s down. Players have more respect for each other when both of them fight. If one guy goes down, the other guy stops punching. Not Thornton – and they call John Scott a goon, but he would never do something as disgusting as that.

    Finally Orpik’s hit on Eriksson was clean. Eriksson has a habit of skating with his head down. John Scott’s hit on him was clean too. This guy had better join a non-checking league if he wants to play like that.

    • cwagz19 - Dec 8, 2013 at 4:48 PM

      John Scott’s hit on Eriksson was clean? I apologize I didn’t know you could make late hits behind the play with the direct point of contact being the head. Of course I bet you know more than Brendan Shanahan too and think he is wrong in thinking what the rest of the hockey universe thinks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojoCAhhOxGs Maybe you need to take a better look…

      • cwagz19 - Dec 8, 2013 at 4:49 PM

        I suppose you think Matt Cooke’s hit on Marc Savard was a legal hit too

  41. sillysporty - Dec 8, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    Well we’ll looks like John Scott isn’t the only tough guy lets hear it from the bean town assholes now

  42. cwagz19 - Dec 8, 2013 at 4:45 PM

    Loui hit in a open ice defenseless position not making a play with the puck. Neal blatantly knees Marchand when he is on the ground (Neal takes no responsibility and claims it was 100% accidental). Dupuis slashes Kelley and breaks his ankle. There comes a time where someone needs to stand up. By no means do I think what Thornton did was right but he was doing to defend his teammates. And the concussion came from when his heat hit the ice not when he threw a few small jabs. Thornton took full responsibility for his actions and truly felt for Orpik. That is the kind of man that Shawn is, he does tremendous amounts of charity work and is a workhorse who has always played within the boundaries unlike the likes of Cooke, Neal or Scott so to speak.

    • blastfurnaceknows - Dec 8, 2013 at 9:14 PM

      What he did was to “defend his teammates?” Are you posting from a padded room? What everyone else saw was that the play was dead, the perpetrator came up from behind Orpik, like only a coward would, he slew foot him to the ice, pounced on top of him, and then delivered multiple shots to his head with his fist and elbow. At the moment that coward approached Orpik, what threat did he pose to the his teammates? What he did was sickening and to defend it in any way is just as repulsive. You need to change your meds.

  43. dumbassgreg - Dec 8, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    sadly another one to add to list of thought as player maybe dead on ice. malarchuk and zednik cuts, bertuzzi- moore, mcsorley- brashear, cooke-savard, chara- pacriocetty, thornton-orpik. also amazing how so many see through warped glasses. my team is always right or victim. both neal and thornton should get long suspensions. thornton sorry he is only employed because of fighting just like mcsorley. if you take away fighting. there are lots of players in minors with more skill they just don’t fight. who cares how great they are in community lots of peoploe who are good in community did terrible acts every day behind closed doors.all you have to do think what is going on this am in vatican.

  44. johnmr12 - Dec 9, 2013 at 9:24 PM

    I heard the color commentator on the bruins broadcast say it never would have happened if Orpik had “manned up” and fought Thornton earlier. To anyone who shares that idiot’s opinion, the object of the game is to score more goals than your opponent, not to prove you are a tough guy. Had Orpik sacrificed a minimum of 5 minutes of playing time by fighting a guy who is only there to fight, he would have been hurting his team. Of course Thornton wants to fight one of the best defensemen on the opposing team. The only thing Orpik did wrong was leveling a guy with his head down on a legal hit, and then refusing to get drawn into a fight. So, Thornton not only had no justification for targeting Orpik, he is a punk for going after a guy who doesn’t get paid to fight.

Featured video

Bettman hears the boos in Philly
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (1952)
  2. L. Stempniak (1648)
  3. D. Roy (1567)
  4. R. Nash (1338)
  5. A. Rome (1333)
  1. M. Ribeiro (1234)
  2. R. O'Reilly (1234)
  3. C. Franson (1219)
  4. P. Subban (1144)
  5. D. Cleary (1139)