Skip to content

Crosby: If I had to guess Thornton’s suspension, I’d say 10 games

Dec 11, 2013, 8:07 PM EDT


Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby offered his prediction on what Boston’s Shawn Thornton will get as punishment for his attack on Pens defenseman Brooks Orpik.

From the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

“I have no idea. It’s hard to guess. Nealer (James Neal) got five. If I had to guess a number, I’d say 10. Right around there. Maybe even more.

“I’m sure they have a lot of different criteria to look at when they’re giving guys suspensions. I’m sure it’s going to be up there. It’s going to be steep.”

Thornton, who tripped Orpik and punched him twice while laying on the ice, was assessed a match penalty on the play and will have an in-person hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Friday afternoon to learn of his fate. He’s been suspended indefinitely ’til the hearing, while Orpik — who was stretchered off the ice following the attack — is currently on injured reserve with a concussion.

As Crosby mentioned, Neal received a five-game suspension for kneeing Brad Marchand in the head, an incident that preceded the Thornton-Orpik melee.

The two longest suspensions this season have both been 10 games in length. One was to Toronto’s David Clarkson for leaving the bench to engage in a fight — an automatic 10-gamer — while the other was given to Patrick Kaleta for a headshot on Columbus’ Jack Johnson, a suspension that had more to do with Kaleta’s reputation as a repeat offender than it did the actual hit (which didn’t injure Johnson, or force him to miss any significant time.)

Phoenix forward Paul Bissonnette was also given a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench to fight during a preseason game, but appealed on the grounds of insufficient video evidence and had his punishment reduced to three games.

  1. terrier92 - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Sidney STFU

    • tk1966 - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:17 PM

      Based on how it was phrased, it is evident (to any person who has any bit of common sense and thinking skills) that he was responding to a direct question. So, are you saying when asked a question, he shouldn’t reply, or as you so eloquently put it, he should “STFU”?

      And when he doesn’t reply, should we assume you would then take him to task for not talking to reporters and acting like a diva?

      Given that no once directly asked you your opinion, perhaps you should be the one to “STFU” so that you can refrain from further making a fool of yourself.

      Have a nice day.

      • 19to77 - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:29 PM

        Here’s the problem with that line of thinking – this is clearly not the first time a reporter’s ever asked a player this question. And yet, how many times can you remember hearing players publicly speculating on opposing players’ suspension lengths? The party line is always some version of “That’s up to the League.” Not only because, you know, it *is,* but because players aren’t supposed to involve themselves in that. Now if it’s fewer than ten games, the inevitable media BS will be about how it was “less than Crosby wanted,” and if it’s ten or more, the Boston journalists will be weeping about how “Crosby got his way.”

      • jimthebear - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:13 PM

        HE NEEDS TO STFU.. The CORRECT answer by a player for the opposing team for something like that is. AND I QUOTE. ‘I’m not in the NHL office, but I trust them to do the right thing, we’ll see what they decide.’ Saying anything else shows what a douche he is and why he may wear a C but will never be a real leader.

      • 950003cups - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:42 PM

        Its obvious that Crosby was pressed for an answer.

      • hockeyflow33 - Dec 12, 2013 at 1:42 AM

        Why is everyone so opposed to hearing player’s opinions?

      • hockey412 - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:41 AM

        Sid had every right to answer the question, he ALWAYS answers the press with honest answers – he doesn’t give the canned “oh yah know eh, my job is on the ice eh, let da front office handle it”….and for one, I dig it.

        No fan of another team needs to like his response, and Crosby has earned his share of haters that are going to act like whiny little prima donnas every time he speaks. That’s just fine, I actually find it to be entertaining that something crazy could happen like Rinaldo getting a hat trick (just kidding) and get no comments, but Crosby coughs and gets 100 comments.

        Look at Jimthebear’s comment above – it’s all right there. So much hatred – Crosby continues a long line of great players hated by other teams. And it’s awesome. He didn’t put anyone in the hospital, he didn’t hit anyone dirty, all he did was answer a simple question and he earns and WARRANTS the rage that Jimthebear gives. It’s awesome. He’s a great leader :)

      • hockey412 - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:42 AM

        I have another question, though – why is it that this gets such a negative response, but when Julien blatantly whines about the opposing teams (he’s done it 5 or 6 times now) people don’t seem to care?

        This is just an opinion, Julien’s usually trying to slam opponents (to the press…he’s always such an enjoyable little creature).

      • gallyhatch - Dec 12, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        Yeah, Sidney Crosby’s a great leader.

        Excuse me for a second…..


        Your posts are the best in the history of this website.

      • gallyhatch - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:05 PM

        In all seriousness though, a good leader (not even great) would have got his team off the ice at the end of the 1st period in game 1 of the ECF last year, instead Crosby decided to jab @ Rask & start a scrum that ended up with Malkin & Bergeron getting fighting penalties.

        Pittsburgh would have been on the PP to start the next period, but because Sid the Nutshot Kid decided to f’ around, they started the period with their best power play weapon in the box for 5 minutes. We all know where the series went from there for Pittsburgh. (seriously, what kind of team leader jabs at the opposition’s goalie at the end of a period in a ECF game?)

        The majority of your comments appear to be written by a teenager.

        You don’t have a Crosby poster hanging in your bedroom do you? A Fathead perhaps?

      • hockey412 - Dec 12, 2013 at 4:22 PM

        oh my – ok where to start. To answer your “what kind of leader….” comment, it would be one that sees his team playing completely flat and in need of SOMETHING to start the engine. Also (and probably moreso) one that is trying to get the goons aggitated, get them to cross the line. He’ll do it anytime it’s needed, as opposed to waiting for someone else to do it, which is what a lot of captains would do. After all, you have to admit he can be very aggitating, right?

        You do know he won the Lindsay last year right? Voted on by his peers? What say you then?

      • gallyhatch - Dec 12, 2013 at 5:56 PM

        Good point, I stand corrected. Old Captain Nutshot really sets a hell of an example for the rest of the league with his respectable style of play.

    • joey4id - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:29 PM

      I actually estimated the league would hand out a 20 game suspension. But now that 87 thinks it will be more like 10 I have to admit I was wrong. BTW, thanks 87 for not giving another canned response like, “it’s really up to the league to decide.”

    • upper90cheese - Dec 12, 2013 at 7:47 AM

      Crosby always gets his way with the league, so Thornton will most def get 10.

    • drone501 - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:06 AM

      FU stooge

    • Florio's Lawyer - Dec 12, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      Sydney has more money than you…

    • atteckus - Dec 12, 2013 at 11:11 PM

      If I had to guess, the next time the Pens play the B’s, Sid the Child will start an 87 game convalescent period, sucking Gerbers through a straw.

    • jtmm1960jtmm1960 - Dec 13, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      I hope NHL views that video very closely and gives Orpik an award for acting! he faked that injury to avoid a beating from Thorton, Watch it closely, You point out what knocked him supposedly out, HE FAKED IT! BIG BABY!!!!

  2. terrier92 - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    I think he is however right on the money

    • claudegirwho - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:13 PM

      Terrier STFU

  3. gallyhatch - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    That was my prediction also.

  4. 19to77 - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:20 PM

    Sigh. You know, I actually thought he took a level-headed, reasonable stance with his comments a couple days ago. Go figure, he had to go and pull this crap. I don’t care how big a deal you are, Sid. You don’t get to recommend suspension lengths to the disciplinarians – and when a player from the team whose guy got hurt is publicly “estimating” the length of the suspension, you can call it whatever else you like but that is definitely part of his motivation. Real classy, Sid.

    • burgh916 - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:10 AM

      Recommend? He was answering a question with his honest opinion. I think it will be 10 games as well, and this was way before this specific interview. Stay classy.

    • hockey412 - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:53 AM

      I’m sure he’s so disappointed in himself for disappointing you hahahaha…

      Oh wait, And you are…..?

  5. kovodisc - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:24 PM

    Maybe this will silence all the people calling for Thornton’s season, or even 20 games.

    An elite player, and teammate of the victim, is saying it should be around 10 games.

    He’s probably spot-on

  6. charlieconway96 - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:29 PM

    I’m still curious/baffled how there is no video of the Bissonnette pre season incident.

    • logicalcomment - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:19 PM


      exactly, that’s too funny,it’s like they don’t bother to record phoenix pre-season games

    • thesportsjudge - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:27 PM

      There was video evidence of the Florida Panthers preseason “game” (technically they say it was more of an exhibition) with like 24 fans in the arena, but not that event is curious, indeed.

  7. jhaegs - Dec 11, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    More like James Kneel 😉

    • atb4 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:11 PM

      Stolen from Nice try though

  8. icelovinbrotha215 - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:04 PM

    I’d have to say that he is right. 10 games seems to be the norm for egregious acts.

  9. toiletclown - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    whatever sid thinks the punishment should be then thats what it should be. Love the ambassador of the nhl!!

    • claudegirwho - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:54 PM

      Make me a bicycle clown!!!!

  10. killerpgh - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    10 is what most people were/are figuring. I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s anywhere from 9 games to 15 games. It seems to be broken down in 3 groups for the most part. Homers think he should get a raise. Haters think he should get life. Most think it will be around 10 game. Trever Gillies got 9 games for knocking out Eric Tangradi with a flying elbow and than punching him while he was concussed laying on the ice. Then taunting him while the trainer was working on him. I believe that was Gillies first time getting in trouble with the league, but I could be wrong (I know he got suspended again as soon as he returned from that suspension). That was also when Campbell was handing out suspensions and he wasn’t “suspension happy” like Shanny is.

  11. penvik - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    Sid is staying in the safe zone just like all of his press conferences. He obviously picked a number that wouldn’t cause much of a disturbance (10 games). He is even quoted as saying it could be much steeper. Like hmm….. Maybe……. 20-25 games

    • jimthebear - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:26 PM

      Sid is being a crybaby douche like he usually does.

  12. muckleflugga - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:30 PM


    gawd, you did it again…hilarious!

    i kneeded that

  13. mclovinhockey - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:39 PM

    I was looking at 10 as well for it, Neal should have been up there as well since he has a history and (injuries aside) a knee to the face from a hard shelled Leg pad is a lot more dangerous and uncommon than two padded punches to the face.
    Like I said, injuries aside, if Marchand would have gotten carried off and Orpik would have stayed in the game, Neal would be facing a much longer suspension and Thornton would have only gotten a few…. This is one of the few times I am glad the injury is going to add time… I love fighting in hockey, but at least let the guy know you are coming.

    • claudegirwho - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:57 PM

      I guess you’ve never felt an elbow pad that those guys wear

      • broadstreetsbaddest88 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:48 AM

        I’m so sure that you have felt their elbow pads. They’re not hard like when your a kid playing they’re softer so they’re more flexible. Thorton’s elbow grazed his shield not his face so that absolutely did nothing to him. Watch the replay on a big tv you’ll see it clear as day. Thortons act was not as crazy as people make it out to be. It’s such a big deal cause he got hurt. Players pull that crap a lot during heated scrums. I’m not saying he was right I’m just saying it’s gettin all this attention cause he’s injured. Neal should of got alittle more cause of his history. I think Thorton has never been suspended and should factor into a little lesser suspension. I’m sure he’ll get the book cause he’s not one of shannys stars

      • basedrum777 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:41 PM

        Sorry but people do not “usually” slewfoot a player and then punch them when they’re unconscious on the ice but keep up the justifications. Figured it’d be a Flyers fan.

      • mclovinhockey - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:31 AM

        I have, not as hard as the knee pads….
        oh, if the slewfoot was what knocked him out, this would be the 2nd slew footing suspension in NHL history….

    • hazlydose - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      Bertuzzi’s punch to Steve Moore was with the glove on. The glove being on or off really doesn’t matter.

      • mclovinhockey - Dec 17, 2013 at 9:34 AM

        todd punched him in the back of the head then jumped on his back and drove his head into the ice, then someone jumped on top of the two of them…. not very similar at all.

  14. muckleflugga - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:54 PM

    about to enter the frame in the enclosed graphic is david steckel’s elbow…

    responsible in part for sid the seer’s ability to invade brendan shanahan’s thought processes…shine on sid, shine on

    eyes sparkle when he scores, shinedown on the radio dial

    silverado, candy painted, ray bans, got the whole world shaded

    chrome piece tucked in the console riding high, roll up on the down low

    baby get your shine on

  15. scottybcboy - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:58 PM

    I said 10 games on the night of the incident and stand by it. I do have a problem with injuries determining the length, or enactment, of suspensions. When Zac Rinaldo did the exact same thing as Thornton vs Roussel, aside from missing on the haymaker, he doesn’t even get a hearing?…..really? If you jump an unsuspecting player I think a review is warranted, regardless of contact.

  16. nsmiff87 - Dec 11, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    mclovinhockey, you really think hockey gloves are soft? Have you ever even felt how hard a glove is? I’m also assuming you’ve never played hockey before bc being punched by a hockey glove is pretty close to getting hit with a fist

  17. muckleflugga - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:12 PM


    respect you opinion, but in my experience there is a distinct difference between going with gloves or going with bare knuckles

    knuckles break bone and cut deeply at boney protusions…gloves, rarely. with enough force, gloves can concuss no doubt…

    i’ve fond, err fuund, err descovired, thet gluves caan causs braane damuge tuu. in faktt thu nikp poomnfy jikoply nimmy no entry

    u no whuuut i meen

  18. itsallniceonice - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:23 PM

    Wow Crosby is more on the dot than most people that comment here.

  19. nsmiff87 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:25 PM

    I know what you mean muckleflugga, but I’m just trying to say that the people who don’t play hockey don’t know that getting hit by a hockey glove actually hurts

    • tk1966 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:42 PM

      and hockey gloves are a whole lot harder than boxing gloves, and we know the results in the ring (plus, the opposing boxer usually know the punches are coming)

  20. xxxxsuperxxxxboyxxxx - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    when i was younger we used to chuck nuckles with gloves on thinking it would hurt less fact is hurt way more less pain on your hands harder to judge how hard you hit some one cuz you don’t feel the pain in your hands and gloves are not as soft or soften the blow as much as one would think

  21. muckleflugga - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:49 PM


    yet consensus of opinion holds damage to moore’s cervical spine occurred when players piled on bertuzzi and moore, driving bertuzzi’s arms into moore’s head, while slamming his face into the ice as his neck was twisting…

    not to excuse the blind-side punch in anyway…

    • killerpgh - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:11 PM

      But he was also out cold on the way down to the ice from the gloved sucker punch.

  22. johnmr12 - Dec 11, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    The reporter is a moron for asking a player a question like that, and the correct response to the moronic question is “Im a player. If you really want to know how many games he might get, you should ask the person responsible for handing down suspensions.”

    • jimthebear - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:18 PM

      You beat me to it by a couple of minutes.

      • hockey412 - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:01 AM

        Is that what you’ve learned from all your experience as one of the most talented young leaders in the game today?

        I didn’t realize the commenters on this website had such a history of proper NHL etiquette!!! Oh wait…is this somehow related to “THE CODE”? hahahahahaha please.

      • jimthebear - Dec 13, 2013 at 4:48 PM

        I’m a far more talented LEADER than Cindy, though he is far more talented with a stick and skates. The latter doesn’t make him a good leader.

  23. jimthebear - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:17 PM

    Responding to that question, direct or not, shows he’s NOT a leader. Take that C off his shirt and give him a W for Whiner. A real leader’s answer would be “That is up to the league to decide.” Conversation closed, move along, nothing to see here but hockey. The fact he even entertained it, let alone answered it shows he may have hockey skill but he’s HARDLY ready for prime time, he wears the C for CINDY.. Go cry somewhere else you baby.

  24. cspsrbums - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:26 PM

    Now the golden boy is recommending Suspensions what a joke he is. But you know what the NHL will take this clown recommendation like it the word from God. Stay the Fxxxx out little Bitxxch

  25. thesportsjudge - Dec 11, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    At least he isn’t calling for law enforcement to be called in like some ridiculous “fans” were doing.

  26. muckleflugga - Dec 12, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    in spite of league disciplinary processes that would vex sherlock holmes, dubious behaviour from orpik and penguins leading up to and following the cold-blooded mugging, i have a feeling thornton’s gonna get spanked large…

    forty to sixty games is not out of the realm of possibility –waiting table at turner’s yard can bring deep reflection

    nor is a free pass, such is the riddle called the department of player safety

  27. gerryf19 - Dec 12, 2013 at 12:10 AM

    There is a big difference between the two transgressions, which is why I think Thornton gets 20. Neal’s was nasty, but it was during the game. Thornton came up behind Orpik during a stop in play. One is a dirty hockey move; the other is an assault.

  28. govtminion - Dec 12, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    I’d really like to see Crosby just decline to answer a question like this… not a knock on Crosby in general, mind you, but for any athlete- this isn’t a question for them, I’m sure he’d be furious if someone else asked how long he should be suspended if it was the other way around, so just decline the question and move on to the next one.

  29. nsmiff87 - Dec 12, 2013 at 2:46 AM

    Sid was most likely asked to give an estimated guess you morons. And for all of you idiots supported Thornton, his named is spelled Thornton not Thorton. That enough shows how idiotic some people can be

  30. Hockeyfan - Dec 12, 2013 at 6:21 AM

    So here’s part of the problem with PHT: we are only getting a snippet of this interview. Where’s the whole exchange? No link to any article and couldn’t find one from the pittburgh papers. Was Crosby pressed for an answer?

    Have to agree with bloggers that declining to answer this directly would have been more appropriate. Problem is that writers ask because WE want to know. And that creates such fodder for this site bringing out the Crosby/Pen haters.

    That said we all have our own opinion of what his suspension should be….the timing of this may lead to a very long suspension for Thornton if the league wants to use this to set an example or set the tone for future suspensions. This wasn’t a fight, this wasn’t just a hit.

  31. zico25 - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    An article with Sidney Crosby’s name on it? Time to complain about him.

    I have a feeling some of you would complain if there was an article about Crosby visiting sick kids in a hospital, just because it is Crosby.

    The man was asked a question, was clearly pressed for an answer, and he answered it honestly. Oh no, how dare he! The horror!

    Put your big kid pants on, folks.

  32. cheapglazers - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Marchand’s own mother should have beat him in the head. Anyone else, it’s out of bounds, but this guy literally asks for it.

    • 7mantel - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:26 AM

      You probably stood and cheered as Cooke skated around taking cheap shots !

      • hockey412 - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:12 AM

        I agree with your sentiment, but there’s also a point there. Marchand’s one of the league’s dirtiest. So next time (which will probably be soon) the little maggot gets caught doing something, hopefully everyone will be out for his head, same as Neal’s.

        Right now I’m all for sending Thornton, Marchand, AND Neal to the KHL.

  33. charastein - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Chara no like wimpy and whiny Crosby. He talk too much. Chara smash him next time.

    • hockey412 - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:07 AM

      This is the Chara that is ranked 50th in hits and has been too slow most of the year to hit anything, right?

      • charastein - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:17 AM

        This is the Chara that will have his number hung from the rafters at the Garden, the Chara that will be in the Hall of Fame, and the Chara that has guided his team to first place.

        It is also the Chara that scored the game winning goal on the Pens the other night.

        Nice shot, eh?

        Chara think you talk too much. Just like Crosby. Chara look down at you in standings and in life.

      • hockey412 - Dec 12, 2013 at 10:37 AM

        That was a GREAT shot the other night. Not sure it shouldn’t have been stopped, there wasn’t even a screen – but yes, very good shot. Was hard to watch that dirty turd celebrating.

        You really think Chara will be in the HOF? Interesting. Maybe.

        Chara is just not all that feared as a hitter in this league. He’s not even mentioned when you name big hitters. He’s big, has long arms, and gets his stick in the way. Because of that it’s tough to play him. But it’s not because he’s tough. When he does hit, the only thing to fear is the headshots. Gad knows the league would NEVER stop him from hitting folks in the head. Dirty clown.

  34. 7mantel - Dec 12, 2013 at 8:29 AM

    Maybe Sid should take a page out of Jeters book and not comment about an opposing player ! Act like a true captain !

    • hockey412 - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:02 AM

      What is your home team, by the way?

      • 7mantel - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:11 AM


      • toiletclown - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:39 AM

        sorry to hear that

      • basedrum777 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        The Rangers coach (up until last year when he was fired) made his career out of childish tantrums. Pot Kettle.

    • toiletclown - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:40 AM

      hes the best captain in all professional sports, get it together brah

      • charastein - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:49 AM

        Bah. Chara better. Chara flush bigger things than Cry Baby Crosby.

      • 7mantel - Dec 12, 2013 at 9:50 AM

        Crosby ?

      • toiletclown - Dec 12, 2013 at 10:54 AM

        chara? haha cmon sonny get real

      • basedrum777 - Dec 12, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        Chara’s definitely the best at riding opposing players into stanchions. Since that what the NHL wants now: thugs.

  35. Seabass1970 - Dec 12, 2013 at 10:26 AM

    thank you so much sid your are a true ambassador of the game.

  36. Florio's Lawyer - Dec 12, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    If Neal got 5, Thornton should get 20.

  37. kastout11 - Dec 12, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    I think 10 sounds about right. If Neal only got 5, Thornton should get no more than 10.

  38. 8man - Dec 13, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    I think Crosby is right. My question: will those ten be in addition to what Thornton has already served or will those missed games be taken into consideration?

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1882)
  2. P. Kessel (1591)
  3. M. Richards (1355)
  4. N. Backstrom (1162)
  5. P. Datsyuk (1142)