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Updated: NHL suspends Thornton 15 games for Orpik attack

Dec 14, 2013, 4:05 PM EDT

BrooksOrpik Getty Images

After a week long wait and an in-person hearing, NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan has decided to hand Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton a 15-game suspension for knocking Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik to the ice and punching him in the head during Boston’s 3-2 win on Dec. 7, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.

Update (4:05 p.m. ET): The length has been confirmed.

Thornton was pulled off of Orpik and handed a match penalty while Orpik was taken off the ice on a stretcher. Orpik suffered a concussion and didn’t skate again until Friday.

Before that incident, Orpik delivered an open-ice hit on Loui Eriksson. The Boston Bruins forward suffered his second concussion in as many months as a result.

Thornton’s suspension is the second longest of the Shanahan-era, behind only Raffi Torres. This is also the biggest punishment he’s given for a regular season incident. He will be eligible to return for Boston’s game against San Jose on Jan. 11.

Shanahan argued that Thornton’s actions were not spontaneous, but rather an “act of retribution.”


Janssen: Orpik should’ve fought Thornton, then ‘everything would have quieted down’

Alfredsson: Players shouldn’t need to fight after dishing big hits

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

The Chip ‘n’ Chase: Outrage over hockey violence, Gary Bettman is a happy man, Darryl Sutter is awesome, and more!

Video: PHT Extra — are longer suspensions the answer?

155 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. drewzducks - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Open the floodgates. 10 would’ve been sufficient but as long as Orpik remains out I guess 15 is appropriate.

    • dcfan4life - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:37 PM

      Excessive suspension. He attacked Orpik yes, but knocking him out so quickly was a surprise, and Thornton stopped immediately when he noticed Orpik was out. Plus it started cuz Thornton was defending a teammate that Orpik hit. If Orpik throws just 1 punch or doesnt get knocked out, im no so sure theres even a suspension, this is excessive. Suspension deserved, but 15 games seems harsh.

      • nofunleague - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        It wasn’t a surprise do to the fact that Orpik wasn’t going to fight back. All goons should sit.

      • nofunleague - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:27 PM

        It wasn’t a surprise do to the fact that Orpik wasn’t going to fight back. All goons should sit.

    • dchambers144 - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:00 PM

      15 actually makes a little bit of sense. Neal received 5 for a knee. Thorton gets 5 for the slew foot, 5 each for the two punches.

      • binnh - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:06 PM

        I don’t find 15 at all excessive and I’m a Bruins fan. Fighting is one thing, and a part of hockey – I get that. But this kind of raw brutality has no place in ANY sport. Had it been my decision, I would have probably taken him out for the rest of the season.

    • polegojim - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:24 PM

      You guys are nuts… punching a guy in the face with his head on the ice… and you don’t know how he got knocked out so quickly???

      Maybe you three need to experience what that’s like. Put the back of your head firmly against a block wall… and have someone who is enraged and weights about 220 lbs take a free punch at you… square in the face.

      Let us know how that goes for you… and just for being foolish… let them hit you twice if you’re still standing after the first shot.

      • drewzducks - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:50 PM

        Where do I state that I don’t know how he got knocked out so quickly ? Your response clearly shows that you’ve been on the receiving end of a few too many shots to the head.

      • dcfan4life - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:29 PM

        This is Hockey mind you. There are hard hits, fights, pucks to the head, missing teeth. Orpiks is wearing a helmet the whole time. The back of his head hits the ice once, but whats most surprising is he didn’t defend himself at all and then he was out. Thornton gets 2 clean hits to the head, with his glove on, and Orpiks out. Cmon, how often does that ever happen???

      • polegojim - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:43 PM

        Seriously… The ‘he didn’t defend himself theory’ is your most intelligent response???

        Please take me up on my offer… and stop now.

        Even if only once… that’s one time too many. He and Raffi Torres should bunk together. Don’t need that in our hockey.

      • dcfan4life - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:06 PM

        Did Thornton deserve a suspension, yes. Did Orpik get injured, yes. But Orpik knew Thornton wanted a piece of him. And rightfully so, Orpiks hit was ugly to begin with. How and why Orpik acts unprepared for the hit and lets himself get punched knowing Thornton wants a piece of him is remarkable. The knockout was also surprising. And im sure Orpik would tell u as well. If he though Thronton, with his gloves on, in 2 hits could know him out, im sure he would have defended himself way better. Hence why i believe this suspension is a direct result of the shocking injury, not the action that caused the injury, and this, a bit excessive.

      • pittsburghmohawk - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:30 PM

        dcfan, which already explains a lot, are you truly suggesting that Orpik knew Thornton was going to slew foot him from behind, knocking him to the ice? Why is it surprising that a man punched in the head, while his head is already against an immoveable object, would get knocked out? You are some kind of special. And not a good kind either.

      • dcfan4life - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:17 AM

        I am saying that how often does a guy, in Hockey, get knocked to the ice during a stoppage of play, and just lies there? No hands up, no pushing back, nothing. Your insulting me for saying the obvious, this never happens in Hockey because its a rougher sport than most and everyone is usually on guard. Literally every stoppage of play guys have hands up and pushing and shoving. And Orpik didn’t. It makes no sense. Calling me special because i can ascertain a play in hockey that started out like any other but then got ugly in a rather unusual way? Really? Sad that you make such comments with no real reason or thought behind them.

      • cofran2004 - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        This is in response to your question on a later post, “how was bertuzzi’s hit more dangerous?”

        Bertuzzi punched moore in the back of the head, and he was pretty much out on his feet. He then drove moore’s most likely already-concussed head into the ice, and punched him several more times. Bertuzzi couldn’t see moore’s face, and therefore didn’t know to let up because he was ruining a guy’s career.

        I don’t know if you’re a pen’s fan, but it seems like it. If so, take off the rose colored glasses. Orpik was skating a few days later. I’m pretty sure moore still has trouble walking. If you can’t tell bertuzzi’s hit was more dangerous, you’re really bad at not being a homer.

      • polegojim - Dec 16, 2013 at 2:50 PM

        Your response is very late…

        Nonsensical – way too long to have a valid point.

        And… I’m not a Pens homer.

        You’re 0-4 on that post… ; ) Keep trying through.

      • cofran2004 - Dec 17, 2013 at 12:51 PM

        Late: Doesn’t take away from the point.

        Nonsensical: No it wasn’t. You just have the attention span of a 3 year old with ADHD.

        Pens homer: Swing and a miss… i’ll admit that,

        0-4: You made three points. That’d make me 0-3, assuming I was wrong.

        SO! That makes YOU 1-4. You’re batting .250, I guess that’s not awful… keep trying though!

    • c9castine - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:37 PM

      something to think about….what would the penalty be if we replaced Orpik with Crosby??

      i think it’d be a lot longer. an incident like that taking out the games superstar? or even another superstar?

      that is what it is going to take for the NHL to get serious. some superstar laying on the ice knocked out, limp, for the whole world to see, for all the little kids that wanna grow up and be sidney crosby to see…

      until then the league will continue to embarrass itself with these things. and keep in mind i am talking about neal and thornton.

      why we wouldn’t want ALL skill players in the NHL is beyond me. i love derek engelland i think he is a solid hockey player and also happens to be an enforcer and physical guy. but there are more talented defenseman in the Pens organization. they don’t play though, because apparently somebody has to fight. which is just stupid.

      • pepper2011 - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:54 PM

        @C9castine- Becausse there are guys like Orpik, Boychuik, Phaneuf, and Kronwall running around trying to kill guys.

        I am not trying to be an ssa, but next time these two teams meet, Orpik might think twice about hitting someone like he hit Eriksson.

        you posed the “what if” Sid question; What if Sid was hit like Eriksson by Boychuk and Engellened went after him and he wouldn’t go. Then Marchand Kneed Neal in the head and Engellend through the same punches at Boychuk.

        All I know is Thornton is being killed for this and he should to a certain extent, and it’s been said, but if he isn’t knocked out – I don’t think people are calling it an assault.

      • pepper2011 - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:55 PM


      • c9castine - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:06 PM

        thats just the thing pepper. brooks orpik is gonna keep throwing those checks just the same as he has since 2003 and before.

        still assault. and you pose that scenario to me like my mind would ever change about the actions that were took, no matter who did them on what side.

    • pepper2011 - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:44 PM

      I think most people thought 10-15. It went 15. Shannahan was in a tough place. I like his explanations.

      I think it’s fair, and if he appealed he could probably knocked 2 games off, but not much more than that.

      Hopefully this will quiet everyone who thinks the B’s get a free ride

      I don’t think it was this brutal and vicious attack that it is being portrayed as. It was dumb and irresponsible, but His head did not bounce off the ice like some people try to make it seem. If it did; anyone who has ever worn a helmet and been at the bottom of a scrum knows that isn’t what caused the concussion – he caught him on the bridge of the nose and Orpik was out. Either Orpik was hurt on the Eriksson play, or he just can’t take a punch. Either way the result is the same. nobody who has ever played hockey would think a jab with the gloves on was vicious, nor would that type of punch be intended to knock someone out. All that matters is that it did though.

      15 games is about right, I was thinking 12, but we are talking a 2% difference, and I was thinking 2-3 for Neal (even though I think it deserved more) so Shannahan seems to be coming down a bit harder.

      I am hoping Thornton just accepts it and moves on. Hating him is easy now, but I bet the majority of the league would want this guy on their team. Not fans, but players and coaches.

  2. pitpenguinsrulez - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:14 PM

    Now if Colin Campbell was stuck in charge he’d probably get nothing…but either way he deserves what he gets. He may say that he didn’t mean to do it/hurt Orpik but when push comes to shove he did mean to go after Orpik whether he got hurt or not.

    • madtolive5 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:20 PM

      Oh are you one of those people that think CC favored the bruins in 2011 because his son was on the team?
      Even though he didn’t rule on any suspension that the Bruins were on?

      and also emailed leaked of him showing bias against Bruins players??

    • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:20 PM

      Your right after all he did reverse Malkins automatic 1 game suspension in the Finals thus the * on that cup…..Nicely put!

  3. 950003cups - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Damnnnnn!!! He can’t say he didn’t earn that one.

  4. lowenni - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    This seems fair. The NHL had to make a statement and show how wrong his actions were, and 15 games is a long time and shows that they’re cracking down. However, it’s also only fair to Thornton to take into consideration how respectable of a player he’s been despite playing such a hard-nosed game his whole career. He doesn’t have a history. Good job by Shanaban on this one.

    • lowenni - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      Bertuzzi was only suspended for 20 games following the Steve Moore incident, which is similar, but that was much more dangerous. It cost Moore his career. This is only 5 games less than that. Thornton knows what he did.

      • polegojim - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        This should be good… so… how was Bertuzzi’s shot on Moore that much ‘more dangerous’???

  5. btlpper68 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    A well deserved 15 games nothing to really analyze

  6. 950003cups - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    I thought Crosby determined it was 10. The Lord Crosby has spoken! Bettman has defied the word of Crosby!

    • c9castine - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      i was gonna thumbs down but i didn’t want to be the one to mess with the 87 dislikes….

      what the hell are you talking about man? he was asked his opinions and he said “if i were to guess, 10 games”

      where the hell did he say “thornton should get 10 games.”

      your worse than the toronto media.

    • cheesesteak75 - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      Crosby was asked a question and answered it honestly. I see no reason to rip on a guy for that. 95003 get a clue!

  7. Moop - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    15 games is well deserved and fair. Hopefully this comment thread won’t be hounded by those who were crying for year-long/lifetime suspensions in the direct aftermath of last Saturday’s game.

  8. madtolive5 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    I don’t mind the 15,..but what i do mind is Neal only getting 5 and Thornton getting 15.
    Neal has a worse record with the Department of player safety.
    I guess it really came down to the injury because i would contend that the intent was similar.

    • charlieconway96 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      Agreed. Would have liked to see Neal get a bit more based on the obvious intent to injure.

    • joey4id - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:32 PM

      Considering the result of the knee, which was nil, then 5 games is fair enough.

      • madtolive5 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM

        That is what i don’t like.
        In my opinion it is important to factor in the injury but also intent.
        As you see in the DPS video, Neal obviously intended to hurt Marchand, and kneed him in the head while he was in a vulnerable position. Neal got very lucky it wasn’t a more serious injury, so he gets rewarded with a lesser suspension.

        I am not defending or justifying what Thornton did, i am just saying that those two plays were very similar, and just because one was injured and the other was not shouldn’t be a 10 game difference. Especially when one player has never been in trouble with the league and the other has had suspensions and fines and a track record of attempting to purposely injury players (especially with head shots)

      • theskinsman - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:52 PM

        Thornton hopefully learns his lesson and knees any defenseless pen on the ice in their head next time, that’s only a 5 game hit. Not very balanced discipline.

      • joey4id - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:25 PM

        like or not madtolive, that’s the way it is written . so we re stuck with it until they renegotiate the terms of the CBA.

    • joey4id - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:52 PM

      I understand. You can’t judge these decisions based on personal opinion. You need to consider many factors; politics, lawsuits, public image, the NHL rule book, the CBA, player safety commitee guidelines, injury to player. Intent is extremely difficult to prove in a court of law let alone in a board room.

      • jimeejohnson - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:35 PM

        Your comment makes too much sense. Stop it.

    • chuckles214 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:01 PM

      As all of you may think that the suspension given was appropriate, you would all be wrong! Thornton deserved no more than they gave Neal based upon the level of the attack, Neal intentionally skated over to a man on his knees trying to get when Neal slammed a knee into the side of his head MMA style! Thornton simply was trying to get Orpuke out of another scrum because he had already cheapshotted another player who is now out for an indefinite length of time and has been placed on the IR due to the cheap shot by Orpuke, when Thornton arrived at the scrum he got Orpuke to the ground and hit him twice and both shots were just glancing blows, Orpuke played the part and laid there pretending to be hurt. a 10 game suspension would have been too much, this is just the a hole Shannahan trying to swing the balance of the East in Pittsburgh’s favor.

      • sabatimus - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:05 PM

        If the NHL really wants to stop things like this from happening, they should have made Thornton’s at least 20 games and Neal’s at least 20 games.

      • ejheim62 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:11 PM

        as soon as you started using stupid-cutesy nicknames for one of the players, your credibility went right out the window. Grow up.

      • madtolive5 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        I disagree with everything you said

      • cavafox - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:20 PM

        You must be slow.

      • jimeejohnson - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        You must be arrogant.

      • spitfisher - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        I hope what comes of this is a ruling regarding open ice head sorts are an automatic suspension. Players, on many teams are dropping left and right due to concussions and n some cases careers are ended by an often blind sided elbow or shoulder to the chin and head.

        Had Ordick checked Loui Erickson differently, rather than targeting the head, things would have been entirely differently. He NHL and for that matter MLB is reacting in this manner due to the NFL law suit concerning players being concussed

      • cybernetikghost - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        I like how Neal’s knee was MMA style and Thornton’s hits were “glancing blows” haha that part was my favorite

    • cavafox - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      Based on the CBA, Neal is not a repeat offender. There was also no injury which, as per the CBA, is one of the considerations when suspending.

      • sabatimus - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        The CBA is lacking in this regard. It doesn’t factor in suspensions from 2009 or earlier. Neal has been suspended at least twice from 2009-2012.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        Neal has a total of 5 suspensions in his career

      • joey4id - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:27 PM

        if the cba is lacking then it’s on the players and fehr for accepting the terms.

  9. sjsharks66 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:23 PM

    Thornton’s “attack” was premeditated. He was going to fight Orpik by the end of the night, whether Orpik wanted to or not. This just a statement from the league so these things won’t happen again. I thought it would be 10.

    • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      Neals attack was also premeditated…..He altered his path to make contact….That required thought before the action…..Thus premeditated!

      • cybernetikghost - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:34 PM

        Neal’s attack was premeditated but he didn’t have the guy pinned while he kneed him in the head repeatedly after that. You have to admit that there is a clear difference in severity, it’s pretty clear.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:55 PM

        Cyber in my opinion what Neal did was worse….Marchand was 100% defenseless while Orpik was standing and involved in a scrum at the time….As far as repeatedly it was two shots and his gloves were still on…..You cant tell me that being in a scrum at the time does not show his own involvement….Not saying what Thorton did was right by any means either!

      • joey4id - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:29 PM

        the factor of defenseless doesn’t appear in the rule book other than under the boarding rule. you can’t make things up at will.

      • joey4id - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:32 PM

        the is nothing in the rule book with respect to premeditation. at least I didn’t see it. can you point us to where it is referenced?

      • cybernetikghost - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        Yeah, Thornton wasn’t exactly going to town on Orpik but the more dangerous part of it is that his head was against the ice. When there is no room for his head to go, the shock isnt transferred so his brain was (for lack of better terms) rattling around in his head every time Thornton hit him as we’ll as shook him against the ice. Thats the exact thing that causes concussions. I can see what you are getting at though. Marchand definitely couldn’t defend himself whereas Orpik 100% could have, but with Neal it was one hit and his neck and shoulders swung his head so he got more of a whiplash effect. It’s hard to judge which is worse but they both got suspensions and that’s the best outcome. Along with no injuries, of course.

  10. lamarraj - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    Bad suspension. If anything he should have gotten 5 games. He was protecting his team and doing his job. If the NHL continues to try and take fighting out of the game players like Neal will keep playing dirty and injuring players and head hits wont stop happening. Take away the instigator penalty and the game will be safer, let the players police themselves. Taking fighting out does nothing, most concussions come from hits not fights. Fighting is a necessary part of the game. Anyone who disagrees look up Jay Rosehill’s interview from last week.

    • joey4id - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:33 PM

      Bad suspension for a player to take. Is there ever a good suspension?

    • claudegirwho - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      You must be Lamar odom cause your smoking some crack

      • drewzducks - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:25 PM

        Or Kevin Stevens.

    • bobhpine - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      Wow. You are scarily stupid. He was just doing his job? That was a common defense at the Nuremberg Trials, not that you would have any idea what those were.

      This is exactly what’s wrong with hockey; idiots feel empowered to defend a savage battery because senseless violence is allowed to be a part of the NHL. Fighting is not a part of hockey, it’s a part of the NHL. If you think fighting is needed in hockey, watch the Olympics. It’s a better brand of hockey and there are zero fights.

      What Thornton did wasn’t even fighting, it was a brutal attack–but the culture of the sport does defend fighting and therefore it’s not hard to get to a point where one player is pulling another player to the ice and punching him in the face and smashing his head against the ice.

      I guess it’s not then surprising that morons then defend that sort of thing, especially morons who like to think they’re tough. This is why hockey is a second rate sport, this is why it gets a few games a year on networks and even ESPN wants nothing to do with it. There used to be fights in basketball. Then they got rid of them and the sport got far more popular. The shame of it is most hockey fans don’t want fighting in the sport, but they aren’t as loud as the fools who do.

      • jimeejohnson - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        You got the idiot part right.

      • sabatimus - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        Actually, that defense at the Nuremburg Trials worked for some of the accused–some of them were indeed directly ordered to do what they did (as sick as the acts were). Not that it ought to work here.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:43 PM

        ESPN wants nothing to do with Hockey because the lockout in 2004 screwed them and lost them a ton of advertising revenue….it had nothing to do with anything else!

      • bruininnh1984 - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:09 PM

        the reason basketball got more popular had nothing to do with fighting… it had everything to do with the rise of larry bird, magic johnson, and michael jordan along with david stern becoming commissioner in 1984 with the smarts to know all he had to do was make the game all about those superstars.

        also, please don’t include basketball and hockey in the same post. it’s insulting to hockey

      • lamarraj - Dec 16, 2013 at 1:46 PM

        First off, the people that want fighting out of hockey are the loudest. Steve Yzerman, Shero etc. Not to mention the media takes one incident like this and blows it out of proportion completely. It happens one time, and now its “oh, well fighting shouldnt be in the game.” Take fighting out of the game and leave players like Neal in the league – in fact lets put a James Neal on every team and see what happens. Everyone will be getting knees to the head and all the other dirty things James Neal does. Maybe Neal will think twice before he goes around doing things like that now, or else maybe Letang will get knocked out next.

        If you take the enforcers out the game will get worse. Olympic hockey sucks because no one wants to hit each other, I enjoy the competition because it is the Olympics and its intense, but it isnt nearly as physical as the NHL. If you want to see a game that can allow refs to enforce the game – watch football. There is a reason for fighting in hockey and there is a reason it has been there since hockey was created – you need to protect your team.

        And no, most hockey fans WANT fighting in hockey. I watch a ton of hockey, and never once have i heard everyone boo during a fight. They are always cheering. And a fight in basketball would be completely different, youre on skates in hockey which is why it is so impressive they are able to fight – a basketball fight would be ridiculous.

        Ultimately, Orpik should have maned up to what he did, dropped the gloves and try and fight Thornton. If he just did that then turtled, or tried to fight, there is no carryover. Unfortunately he didnt. Thornton was not planning on KOing Orpik, he was trying to send a message that you dont knock out my teammates. So he sent a message, the only reason he is suspended is because of the injury – not the action.

      • lamarraj - Dec 16, 2013 at 1:49 PM

        And way to assume im just an idiot with no education. I applaud your failed attempt. Once you result to insulting – you already lost the argument.

  11. joey4id - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    Very fair suspension, and “attack” is the correct word to use. Actually I would add one adjective here, barbaric. Here’s to Orpik for getting better soon, and hoping Thornton and others learn from this vicious incident. Good job NHL.

    • mvshark - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:16 PM

      Where is your comment on what Neal did? How about what Pascal Dupuis did to Chris Kelly?

      • cavafox - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:22 PM

        Why do you stupid Boston fans think because Neal isn’t mentioned every post that Pittsburgh fans thinks what he did was ok? It wasn’t, the majority of Pens fans think and know it was dirty.

        You clearly didn’t watch the alleged Dupuis slash which was a battle for the puck.

      • domjo124 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        pittsburgh has always had goon look at matte cooke now they have neal another cheap shot player who gets way with a slap on the wrist. what about the fact that crosby tripped marchand before neal hit him and no penalty. Im not a boston fan but pittsburgh is always favored by the refss.

      • sabatimus - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:43 PM

        Good thing I’m not a “stupid” Boston fan. I don’t know what this article has to do with Neal or Dupuis, so I don’t know why joey needed to comment on it here. However, despite that, I think what Dupuis did was more of a freak thing.

      • joey4id - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:42 PM

        They are back in the previous article. I invite you to go read them.

  12. hawksin5 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:28 PM

    a tiny bit surprised, I honestly thought what Thornton did was worse than what Torres did to Hossa, and I’m a blackhawks fan. I’m not saying he should have been given 30 games or anything crazy. just slightly surprised. i have a tremendous amount of respect for Thornton, i think what he did was down right stupid, but after watching him play against my hawks in the finals last year and throughout the last few regular seasons its clear that he brings a lot to that bruins team.

    • naterealgood - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      Classy statement by Hawks fan. Hopefully the ongoing mutual respect between the teams continues on for generations to come.

  13. killerpgh - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:31 PM

    More than I thought he would get.

    • killerpgh - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:09 PM

      A better punishment (that I know would never happen) would have been to make the Bruins play Thornton over 21:30 of ice time per game for the next 15 games. 21:30 toi is what Orpik averages this season. Thornton averages 8:06 and that is the least amount of any Bruins player this year. So basically by suspending him it’s allowing the Bruins to use a player they trust more on the ice.

  14. blackheart78 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:36 PM

    Being a Flyer fan I hate the Penguins. But NEVER do I wish to see any player for better or for worse be injured no matter what team they are on. Yes I do like to see Crosby knocked on his butt but I would never wish for him to get hurt. What Thornton did to Orpik was savage and I hope Orpik recovers and plays soon.

    • spitfisher - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:51 PM

      @blackheart, do you honestly think Thorton intended to knock him out and put him in a hospital?

    • hairpie2 - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:04 PM

      “savage????” he punched him while wearing a padded glove.

      • johnnyd76 - Dec 14, 2013 at 10:53 PM

        Yeah, that’s how Boxers manage to knock out their opponents by merely using padded gloves

      • blackheart78 - Dec 14, 2013 at 11:16 PM

        @hairpie2 Your right, a sucker punch isn’t savage, and neither is punching a guy when he is on the ice/ground. You must’ve seen something completely different than about 99.9% of the other people.

  15. penvik - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:46 PM

    Only 15 games?? For an assault, if I did that I’d be charged, put in jail, and in more international travel. That’s what should happen to Thornton. Neal got TOO MANY games and Thornton didn’t get enough. Neal should have gotten 1-2 games just to say don’t do that again. Thornton should have gotten 25+ games

    • mvshark - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      Where do you get your medical marijauna? It has to be really good stuff..First thornton was trying get get Orpik to fight which is legal in Hockey, it is a penalty, but still permitted. Secondly, he never dropped his gloves took 2 swipes at his face with gloved hand and I guess Orpiks glass jaw was exposed as he was knocked out…I guess thats why he didn’t want to go to begin with.
      You must be a Penguins fan to babble that Neal got TOO MANY games, homerism must be a disease and you have a bad case…that pos looked directly at a player on all fours on the ice, skated straight at him while staring at him and when he was a foot away from Marchands head, he turned away to give the look like it was an accident….if that is not premeditated, then I will never post again…

      • jimeejohnson - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:38 PM

        It was premeditated. Never post again.

      • mvshark - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:48 PM

        JJ, I said I would not post again if it was NOT premeditated…

      • cybernetikghost - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:53 PM

        Neal did it on purpose for sure and he definitely deserved the five games that he got but the scene you depicted was a bit over the top. Neal was skating in one direction and saw that Marchand’s head was there and simply didn’t skate out of the way. He wasn’t staring at him and then tracking him down to knee him. It took probably two seconds total to make his decision and follow through with not skating out of the direction of Marchand’s head. He got his five games, let us all just calm down a bit and try not to over exaggerate the situation.

      • mvshark - Dec 15, 2013 at 9:54 PM

        Cyberghost—Watch the same replay I have seen from the whole length of the ice…Neal is staring right at Marchand on ice…almost like he is looking right at camera..he takes 3 to strides while still staring right at him and when he is 2 feet away he turns his head away so that he can say he didn’t see him….maybe you didn’t see that camera angle..but I did and so did many others, probably why Neal got 5 games…

    • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      Neal should have gotten less?…..This is his 5th career suspension for head shots……that game must have been your 1st because it is obvious you have no clue about the game or it’s players!

      • killerpgh - Dec 14, 2013 at 7:59 PM

        Speaking of no clue. Please list all 5 of Neal’s suspensions for head shots. I’ll be waiting for a while because you are just making things up.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:11 PM

        Gimme a few minutes and i will post links to every one of them……The 3 as a Pen you should already know about so shall i save some time and not post them?…….Or do you need to be reminded about them?

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:22 PM

        Suspension number 1 link……Read the article,203997

      • killerpgh - Dec 14, 2013 at 9:24 PM

        Either list them or just admit you made it up and were trying to make him look worse then he is by adding made up suspensions for head shots to his total. He has been suspended 3 time in his career. If you don’t believe me feel free to watch the video Shanny just released about this suspension. Shanny says it right in the video that Neal has been suspended 2 times before.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 9:41 PM

        working on it…..hard to find stuff when this past week it was plastered every where…….The one i already posted does not count because it is from before 2009 and we all remember 2012

      • killerpgh - Dec 14, 2013 at 11:36 PM

        Still waiting for proof of these 5 suspensions (that don’t exist) or for you to admitt you made some of them up…..

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 16, 2013 at 10:11 AM

        !st of all i am not a Pens fan so i dont make things up like Erry and Stieg…..2nd im stii weeding thru about 100 pages……Done believe me type Neals name into goggle search and tell me what you find a billion links that go to his Knee to Marchand and Throtons attack…….3rd i may indeed be wrong as i found a whopping 1 article that states this is his 3 suspension and 2 fines….I will keep searching!

      • killerpgh - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:31 PM

        How many articles have you found that said he has had 5 suspension? My guess would be 0 since he has only been suspended 3 time in his NHL career. Why do you think Shanny is lying in his video explanation of Neal’s lasted suspension?

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 16, 2013 at 3:42 PM

        It’s hard to find any ifno other then the hit on Marchand……Just Googleing his name also brings up the Thorton incident….Dont believe me?……Try it for your self and see what comes up!

      • killerpgh - Dec 16, 2013 at 4:07 PM

        I don’t see how I can make it any simpler for you. Click this link and pay very close attention starting at the 1:10 mark. Shanny will tell you how many time James Neal haves been suspended.

  16. benrob99 - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    Wanted 20 but I guess 15 isn’t bad. As I’ve said 200 times this past week you CAN NOT compare the Neal play to what Thornton did. Neal’s actions were awful and he was rightfully suspended. But…. that was in the course of hockey action. Thornton premeditated an attack, then carried it out by skating 100 feet and slew footed someone from behind. AFTER play had been stopped. What Thornton did was 20X worse.

  17. nhstateline - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    this seems right to me. He deserved more than 10 for what he did. The NHL can’t have this. Lost in this forum is the fact that Loui Erikkson has a concussion that might well end his career from a hit that involved Orpik leaving his skates to deliver it. Part of why Thornton got this has to do with potential future litigation but I doubt a future jury will be impressed by the league’s decision on Mr. Orpik’s cheap hit that started the whole thing. Thorton got what he deserves but if the league is serious about getting rid of head shots, Orpik should have gotten at least a penalty (I also think that probably would have diffused the whole thing). I blame the officials for letting this get where it did but I blame Thornton specifically for where he got to himself.

    • claudegirwho - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      Haha your post made me laugh very funny

      • jimeejohnson - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        That’s cause you’re a pea brain putz.

      • nhstateline - Dec 15, 2013 at 5:56 PM

        let me make this simple: The NFL had to settle because it did not stop people from hitting each other in the head. In Loui’s case, the NHL did not stop Mr. Orpik from hitting him in the head or punish him for doing it. See how it is like why the NFL had to give old players money ? Both of these things are just like the other one and in court that matters. So they did things to Thornton, good, they should have. The guy who caused the first injury, they did nothing to. Years from now, some lawyer will get rich from this maybe and maybe why any hit above the shoulder will be a penalty way sooner than that. The NHL isn’t stupid, they know which way the wind is blowing and the saw how much dough the NFL gave out to one group of players (hey, there could be others too). One of the ways they could get out of doing the same thing and keep the thing the owners really love (that would be money not the fans or players) is to take serious action against anyone who hits someone in the head. They won’t be doing that because they’re good people (although most of them seem to be), they will do it because it helps them make money.

  18. northstarnic - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:52 PM

    15 games sounds about right. Nice job shanahan. (Wow, never thought I’d say that.)
    And alfredsson is absolutely right. There’s no reason a player should feel some kind of obligation to fight after a clean hit. That type of thinking is just another flaw in the “NHL needs enforcers(goons)” mentality.

    • mvshark - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:21 PM

      I guess Alfredson did not see that the puck never got to Erickson and that Orpik’s hit was then interference and that it might have been considered charging as he was going straight at him for at least 30 feet and hit a defenseless player.

  19. wisdomnfl - Dec 14, 2013 at 2:55 PM

    Fair. Could have been 25 but this is pretty fair based on good history by the player. He’ll learn from it.

    • sabatimus - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      Thornton at least had the sense to be contrite about it. Unlike Neal, who simply lied about his intent.

      • claudegirwho - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:09 PM

        Oh right cause if you say sorry it should make what you did less punishable. You know your in trouble and it’s not like he could of said it was an accident it was pretty cut and dry

      • sabatimus - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:18 PM

        I didn’t make that argument. Thanks for putting words in my mouth, and Thornton’s.

  20. crusty14 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:15 PM

    Joey, you have to stop comparing incidents based on the outcome/injury! Neal’s behavior is as bad as thortons, the main difference is thorton had no prior history. I thought 10 would have sufficed. Neal was lucky to only get 5, but they both messed up and deserved suspensions.

    Penvik, you are just an idiot and should be banished for stupidity and outright homerism!!

    • cavafox - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:19 PM

      Why? The CBA explicitly states that punishment is based on whether or not there is injury.

      • sabatimus - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:24 PM

        I don’t have the CBA in front of me, but to my memory it says that injury CAN be a factor in extending suspensions. Shanahan often puts WAY too much emphasis on that, instead of punishing the act itself. Why wait until someone gets paralyzed or killed before there’s a change in punishments? If you punish the act much more severely regardless of injury, that will help deter further acts. (cf. Matt Cooke, Todd Bertuzzi)

      • cavafox - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:29 PM


        (a) The type of conduct involved: conduct in violation of League Playing Rules, and
        whether the conduct is intentional or reckless, and involves the use of excessive and unnecessary
        force. Players are responsible for the consequences of their actions.

        (b) Injury to the opposing Player(s) involved in the incident.

        (c) The status of the offender and, specifically, whether the Player has a history of
        being subject to Supplementary Discipline for On-Ice Conduct. Players who repeatedly violate
        League Playing Rules will be more severely punished for each new violation.

        (d) The situation of the game in which the incident occurred, for example: late in the
        game, lopsided score, prior events in the game.

        (e) Such other factors as may be appropriate in the circumstances

        Obviously e leaves things pretty open.

  21. blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Thorton is a stand up player so i doubt he would appeal this……But he could use the non suspensions to Rinaldo and Emery to get it lowered or removed……The only difference was the injury…..With that said 10 games for all 3 would have been fair but the NHL is showing its lack of credibility once again!

    • sabatimus - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:25 PM

      If Thornton appeals this I will lose even more respect for him. I think 15 games for a guy who doesn’t have a history of dirty hits is a pretty significant improvement in punishment decision, even though I really don’t think it’s enough.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        Like i said i doubt he will…..just bringing up the point he would have grounds for reversal courtesy of the league screwing up with Rinaldo and Emery….Even as a Flyers fan i think that way!

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:37 PM

        Also judging by your comment you would agree Neal should have gotten more as well?

      • mvshark - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:44 PM

        Like Thornton really cares what you think of him. Can you please reveal to all of us what team is your favorite? (as if I can’t guess)

      • sabatimus - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:45 PM

        Yes. At some point on here I said that Neal should have gotten 20 games.

      • sabatimus - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:47 PM

        mv, I don’t care what Thornton thinks of my opinions. I care even less about what you think of my opinions.

      • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:55 PM

        MV….Seems you cant read as i stated in my post what team i cheer for

        Sabatimus…..Sorry i think i put that reply on the wrong post…..I must have because i did read where you said that…My bad….Sorry Bro!

      • mvshark - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

        I never gave you my opinion, if I did, I will use small words, easy for you to understand. It really is too many games, Ray Emery got none for going after another player and pummeling him as the guy was not fighting back. What was your view on what Cooke did to Savard?

      • sabatimus - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:05 PM

        Actually blackandorange, I had no idea you said something to disparage me :). It’s all good.

  22. matthews4 - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:37 PM

    I love the fact that people say if i did this i would be brought up on assault charges. The fact remains that what Pascal Dupuis did would be considered assault with a deadly weapon and he got NOTHING. As someone opointed out “Why? The CBA explicitly states that punishment is based on whether or not there is injury”. How long is Kelly out 6 to 8 weeks? Orpik is already skating again. Thornton should be suspended no doubt, I think what angers most Boston fans is, if you watched that game it seemed that there was an agenda by the Pens. How many offensive players were they supposed to lose unitl they responded? Was it to much? Perhaps. Consider this however, How many more Bruins would the Pens taken out if they did not respond in some way? How many more players would be missing 6 to 8 weeks? BTW last time i checked slashing is illeagal in hockey so if punishment is based on injury on an illegal act where the hell is that suspension?

    • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 3:57 PM

      I would agree with your post other then the fact the video showed Dupuis was going for the puck as it came near Kelly’s skate…..move that puck 4-5 feet and i would fully agree!

      • hairpie2 - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:45 PM

        Dupois was wreckless and didnt have control of his stick. the league will not punish Pittsburgh players though.

      • killerpgh - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:07 PM

        You do realize that James Neal (a Penguins player) just got suspended. I guess that blows your theory.

    • killerpgh - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:05 PM

      Interference is also a penalty. And Chara broke a guy neck doing that. Were you calling for a suspension for him?

  23. penvik - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Now, I’m no expert on “The Code” or anything, but I think this means a Boston player now has to attack Brendan Shanahan in order to “stick up for his teammate.”

  24. hairpie2 - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Absolutely ridiculous. This is why, in any sport, the fans of New England just dont trust the people in charge to levy an appropriate punishment. How many games did Cooke get for knocking out Savard, without cause? How about Scott?? 7 games? Thornton punches a guy in the face twice while wearing a glove and gets 15???

    Ridiculous. This is why we dont trust the people in charge.

    • matt14gg - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      Cooke is irrelevant! The rules were completely different then.

  25. Moop - Dec 14, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Anyone else who watched the video find it particularly interesting that Chris Kelly, sitting on the Boston bench, directs Thornton’s attention to to the scrum that Campbell and the Penguins players became involved with? It looks like Kelly points and tells Thornton and Bergeron to go down there and do something, because they immediately start making their way down ice after looking at Kelly.

    • matt14gg - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:06 PM


  26. hazlydose - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    Well the standard is set. Want that pesky star player out of your opponents line-up? Go sign some AHL goon to assault him after the whistle and end his career. The only result will be a 15 game suspension.

    • matt14gg - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      What standard? Thornton has played almost 500 games in the NHL and has two Stanley Cup rings. He’s one of the most respected players in the NHL and believe me when I tell you, if he was available tomorrow he would be snapped up in a heartbeat. You have NO IDEA what you are talking about.

      • hazlydose - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        The standard that the premeditated attack of another player only gets 15 games. I wasn’t implying that Thornton was AHL-caliber, I was saying that a player can be plucked from the AHL for his goonery and put into the NHL to deliberately injure players and that the result of these attacks would only be a 15 game suspension.

        YOU sir, have no idea what you are talking about.

  27. tsac33 - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    A padded glove that is reinforced with hard plastic.

    The problem the nhl has right now is with perceived favoritism. 15 games seems a little high but only because Neil did something equally dirty and got 5. There needs to be some consistency.

  28. greenmtnboy31 - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:37 PM

    This just proves how weak the NHL really is and further evidence why it’s a second rate league.

  29. muckleflugga - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:54 PM


    get yourself outside and get some fresh air son…

    • joey4id - Dec 14, 2013 at 7:02 PM

      hahaha! Let’s go skate on the pond, dad!

  30. shortsxit34 - Dec 14, 2013 at 7:11 PM

    Again the wheel of justice shows what a joke the NHL is. They are full of hypocrites, and suspensions are inconsistent. The league has absolutely no interest in doing anything to protect the players. They openly admit that whether or not an injury occurs is a major criterion for suspensions. Shanahan and the rest of the NHL do nothing to prevent these incidents; they only react when one already happens.

    This entire thing was only a story because of the injury. If Orpik wasn’t hurt, Thornton probably would have gotten a double-minor for roughing and *maybe* a misconduct, then everybody would have forgotten about it. Unfortunately, it didn’t go down that way.

    The act was gutless, has no place in hockey, and Thornton deserves the suspension he’s been handed. Suspensions are meant to punish a player and prevent them (and other players) from committing similar actions. However, the league only suspends players based on the result rather than the action.

    Which brings me to what happened last month: It was only six weeks ago when we the Emery/Holtby incident happened. When you compare them, both were similar actions, but had different results:

    -Thornton was provoked by Orpik’s hit on Eriksson. The hit was borderline, but either way it *looked* bad, and we all know how hockey runs on emotions. He’s not going to look up at the jumbotron and watch the replay from several angles before deciding whether or not the hit was legal. The hit looked bad, the hit took out one of his teammates, and, right or wrong, he felt it was his job to make Orpik pay.

    Emery, on the other hand, was completely unprovoked. The only injury here was to the Flyers’ ego, being down 7-0 in front of a home crowd. Emery had played poorly that game; he was a sore loser, so he decided to take it out on the other team.

    -Thornton tried to get Orpik to fight before the incident, but Orpik declined. It was obvious Orpik had no intention of fighting. Since Thornton knew Orpik wouldn’t fight (at least with him), he decided to jump Orpik later during a scrum.

    Emery skated the entire length of the ice to get to Holtby. When Emery got to Holtby, Holtby told him he didn’t want to fight. Emery forced an altercation and jumped him anyway.

    -Thornton slewfoot Orpik down to the ice. While Orpik lay on the ice, in a vulnerable position, Thornton threw two, relatively small, jabs/forearms, with his gloves on, to Orpik’s head.

    Emery dropped the gloves and grabbed Holtby, while an official was between them. Almost immediately into the altercation, Holtby fell to his knees, and ended up with Emery standing up behind him, putting Holtby in a vulnerable position. With Holtby down on his knees and Emery still standing behind him, Emery (a trained boxer) continued to throw haymakers to the back of Holtby’s head with his bare hands. When they were finally separated, Emery had thrown 13 punches.

    -Thornton has never been suspended

    Emery has been suspended multiple times in the NHL and AHL

    -During the post game interviews, Thornton was sorry and regretted what he did.

    During the post game interview, Emery bragged about the fight. When asked about Holtby, Emery says that Holtby told him that he did not want to fight, but Emery was going to force one, so he told Holtby, “Protect yourself then.”

    There are a lot of similarities between the incidents, and in many (most) cases, I believe Emery’s was a lot worse. Again, the league had a chance to make a statement and protect players, but did nothing. In fact, they not only did nothing, they actually tried to hide behind the rulebook and claim their hands were tied.

    Shanahan and Bettman both said that there is nothing they could do because there’s no rule against what Emery did. The 5 for fighting and game misconduct were the maximum that Emery could face within the rulebook and CBA. And we all know that isn’t true since we see supplemental discipline for non-calls all the time. They simply decided that that it was no big deal and not worth stepping in.

    So applying the league’s logic, Thornton didn’t deserve any suspension since there are no rules against what he did….except, obviously there are. And using that logic, Emery should have faced a similar suspension…except, they said they couldn’t.

    The only difference between these events is the result—an injury. Both actions were similar, both players were goons, both plays were a disgrace to hockey; the only difference is that Holtby was fine and Orpik left the ice on a stretcher.

    This is just one example (and the biggest this season) proving that Shanahan, Bettman, and the rest of the NHL aren’t serious about doing anything to protect the players. They didn’t suspend Emery because Holtby wasn’t injured. They suspended Thornton because Orpik was injured. They are doing nothing to actually prevent dangerous plays; they’re only reacting when one already happens.

    If the league is going to continue down this road of suspending based on results rather than actions, sooner or later somebody is going to end up paralyzed or dead. They can’t continue this path of punishing after the fact – players shouldn’t have to end up in a hospital before the league “finds something in the rulebook.”

    Emery has a history

    • shortsxit34 - Dec 14, 2013 at 7:15 PM

      Wow, that turned into a long read…sorry guys.

    • blackandorangeforlife - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:07 PM

      If they would have suspended Emery this may not have happened that i agree with…..But it is not even close to the Rinaldo/Rousell incident that also went undisciplined by the league thus telling Thorton it was ok to go after Orpik in the manner he did……I think there should have been 10 game suspensions to multiple players……In the original post i stated why (if he chose) Thorton could fight this suspension and win in front of an arbitrator…..At least Thorton was trying to defend his team mate….Neither Emery no Rinaldo were
      For thos that have no clue about the incident i am reffering to watch this clip from a week ago……………..Again no suspension just the penalties served i the game……Thorton is a stand up player and i highly doubt he will fight this because he knows he was wrong and was convincing in his apology…..But this video alon could possibly clear him…….And in the aspect of making the NHL look bad and possibly changing how discipline is determined i would hope he would challenge it (no really but the point is change)…..Imagine the outrage from all sports fans (not just Hockey) the NHL would have to answer to……I believe outside sources (sadly the government) would force both the NHL and the NHLPA to agree on an outside arbitrator to determine how and when a suspension is handed down….Thus eliminating any favoritism from a ruling…..Not one fan of any team can say favoritism does not exist….Nor could a player be suspended or not based on his “Star Power”…….The bottom line would be suspensions that are even across the board for all players regardless of any factor other then the incident itself……..I would have had no issue with Emery and Rinaldo getting 10 games for what they did……..But to think Thorton received 15 and Neal only 5 shows the incompetence of the league to police itself…..NAd why does that exist in the 1st place?…..Collusion!….Why would i say that?…….Would the Fans that turn out in greater numbers say in Florida still attend game if Sid was not in them?…..What about Malkin?……Would it hurt Tampa if Stamkos couldn’t play? (it has)….The NHL is only interested in profits…..Player safety is not their main concern……Never has been and never will……..Ill never forget the expression on Clarence Campbell face when he had to hand the Cup to Bobby Clarke…..It was pure digust…….Fast forward to 2009 and look at Bettmans face….Pure happiness at the ratings and revenues……If Clarence was still around with the 2009 rules tha series may have been a sweep in the Wings favor (No Talbot and no Malkin)….Under the 1975 rules he would show that same disgust!

    • hairpie2 - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:52 PM

      i accidentally hit “dislike” but you are right on.

  31. muckleflugga - Dec 14, 2013 at 7:59 PM


    i am in awe…brilliant post…well done

  32. johnnyd76 - Dec 14, 2013 at 11:33 PM

    This favoritism contention that is continually put forth by some hockey fans is simply ridiculous. When a player, from any team, commits a penalty which is observed by an official – that penalty is most-likely called. However, there are some situations where the refs put away their whistle or are inconsistant on penalties called. That inconsistency is seen in many games and involves every team in the league. But to say the league has colluded to ensure certain teams or players are exempt from penalties questions the integrity of the NHL. And, if the intention of the NHL is to control the outcome of the winner each season, then the proffessional game of hockey is tainted. I choose to believe that their is no favoritism – rather, there are just those jealous fans who elect to promote this belief because of the poor performance of their team.

  33. bunkerhillbob - Dec 15, 2013 at 8:57 AM

    I couldn’t believe the guy got knocked out from one short punch to the face and wearing a helmet, as well. Is he made of glass or something more fragile. Not even a full punch and not delivered by a boxer; I’ve taken worst shots than that and kept fighting. 15 games is excessive, considering what Orpik did to Erickkson and that he was too chicken to do the time-honored NHL thing and drop the gloves.

  34. nevermind58 - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:17 PM

    First off, let me preface my comments by saying I’m not a hockey fan. Further, I’m not a fan of any sport in which the object of the contest is to injure the opponent to the point that they can no longer continue the contest (see boxing, MMA, Roman gladiator combat).

    I am fascinated by this conversation on whether this particular player received sufficient ‘punishment’ for his actions and behavior. I was not aware that punching a player was a part of this sport (at least not in the rulebook). If this player had committed this act on the sidewalk outside the arena, he wou have been arrested and charged with felony assault, but because the two players were engaged in a sporting event, he is exempt from any legal ramifications of his acts. And everyone seems to be OK with this.

    So are we to be OK with this when a 12 year-old emulates his hero and commits the same foul on his little boys hockey league? Just suspend him for a few games and be done with it? Haul the victim off on a stretcher and say “oh well.”?

    I have the same concerns when a major league baseball pitcher deliberately beans a batter. No problem when a little leaguer does the same? It all just part of the game?

    I recall many years ago when basketball player Charles Barkley was responding to critics of his behavior and its effects on youthful players: “Hey, I ain’t no role model!” is what he said.

    Actually, Barkey was a role model, as are we all. The only real question is what kind of role models we will be.

    This felonious assault goes far beyond the injuries sustained by the player. It is a reflection of who we are as a society. We choose to tolerate this kind of behavior in the name of sports, and we are sending a message loud and clear to the youth: This is how you do it. This is what we expect of you.

    I guess it is all about context. Even though assaulting a player and rendering him unconscious is not addressed in the hockey rulebook, it is to a degree acceptable. Otherwise the player who committed the felony would have been lead off the ice in handcuffs.

    OK, now it is a race to see who can win the prize for calling me a panzy wimp first for my views. Have at it.

  35. sporkov - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Not long enough, but with Shannanhammered making the call what can you expect. This is one of the incidents that should be looked at by the D.A. This is pure garbage by Thornton. Orpik’s hit was clean. If you are worried about losing big hits in hockey then the idea that every big hit needs to be challenged by a goon like Thornton needs to go.

    They also need to start fining/suspending coaches and GM’s and after a while they need to fine/take draft picks/roster spots from teams.

  36. sporkov - Dec 16, 2013 at 12:16 PM

    Thornton should be thankful that it is not longer. I would love for him to appeal and the arbitrator turn around and double or triple it in respect to the other players in the league and their safety and their ability to earn a living and just keep their brain in one piece (figuratively).

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