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Thornton’s agent isn’t sure if they’ll appeal suspension

Dec 14, 2013, 5:33 PM EST

BOSTON, MA - DECEMBER 07: Brooks Orpik #44 of the Pittsburgh Penguins is tended to by the medical staff on the ice in the first period after an altercation with Shawn Thornton #22 of the Boston Bruins in the first period during the game at TD Garden on December 7, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Getty Images

Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton was handed a 15-game suspension by the NHL and consequently isn’t eligible to play until Jan. 11. Only, it might not be that simple.

Thornton still has the option to appeal the length of his suspension. Agent Anton Thun said that they’ll take a few days before deciding if they want to go down that route, according to ESPN/TSN’s Pierre LeBrun.

If they do, Thornton and his agent will likely have the backing of his team after Bruins president Cam Neely stated that 15 contests was “higher than I expected and higher than I think is warranted.”

Of course, the NHL’s decision has led to a wide range of reactions beyond Neely’s.

If Thornton does appeal the suspension, it would be to NHL commissioner Gary Bettman. Should Bettman uphold the ruling, then he could further appeal the decision to a neutral arbitrator. No player has done that since the NHL’s current CBA was implemented.

When Buffalo’s Patrick Kaleta considered taking his 10-game suspension all the way to an arbitrator, it reportedly caused “widespread unease” in the NHLPA. There was reportedly a feeling that the NHLPA was helping the defendants over the victims. However, Kaleta decided not to take the process that far.

Only time will tell if Thornton will take things further than Kaleta.

  1. theskinsman - Dec 14, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Appeal! No f’n way his suspension should be longer than Neals. None.

    • hairpie2 - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:16 PM

      This is absolutely correct. And what he did is more that 2twice as bad as what Scott did to Erikson???? Laughable. The NHL is turning into the NFL.

    • matt14gg - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:47 PM

      Of course it should. He had time to consider his actions and still chose to do what he did. It’s about intent. The actual physical assault wasn’t any worse than Neal’s, but premeditation is what makes his actions, and the suspension, worse. I’m a Bruins fan and I believe the Pens, and specifically Neal, acted gutlessly, but it doesn’t mitigate what Thornton did. Neal should have gotten a few more games, but that has nothing to do with Thornton.

      • theskinsman - Dec 14, 2013 at 7:33 PM

        Two gloved taps to the face wasn’t worse than a guy skating at a decent speed deliberately driving his knee into the head of a player helplessly down on the ice???

        I think Glass Jaw Orpik got concussed with his cheap shot on Loui, Thornton’s shot shots to his face just finished the job.

      • theskinsman - Dec 14, 2013 at 8:15 PM

        Neal lined up Marchands HEAD with his knee. WTF would you call that? An accident? As the pens keep on their brand of cheapshot, gutless hockey, other teams will continue to retaliate.
        Poor sid will probably get his bell rung a few times until they stop. And the crying from pens fans will be epic.

  2. cheesesteak75 - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:23 PM

    Stay classy boston!

  3. rushledger - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:26 PM

    No way it should be longer than Neal’s!? Wow Boston has some BRAINWASHED fans.

    • pens5829 - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:32 AM

      Beanheads.

  4. bruinpred - Dec 14, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Obviously what Thornton did was terrible but I would be pissed if a guy purposely tried to “legally” kill my player for no reason, refuse to fight me, and then try to engage Gregory Campbell. Orpik probably took ballet with Brian Boyle, another player of questionable manhood who runs around like a tough guy.

  5. stickfrog - Dec 14, 2013 at 9:43 PM

    It’s hilarious that Bylsma says that Thorntons suspension will send a strong message through the league and then a couple hours later there’s another penguin taking shots at the other teams head. Match penalty and another hearing. Probably just 2 games though. He plays on Crosbys team.

    • pens5829 - Dec 15, 2013 at 12:33 AM

      That match penalty was a joke an you know it.

  6. nothanksimdriving123 - Dec 14, 2013 at 9:59 PM

    Most fans outside Beantown find the idea of them losing him for 15 games to be rather appealing.

  7. johnnyd76 - Dec 14, 2013 at 11:46 PM

    This should be interesting. Thornton appeals with the help of the NHLPA, which is charged with protecting it’s players. His suspension was given for hurting a player who is also protected by the NHLPA. I’m wondering how the NHLPA will pull this one off without ticking off some of it’s membership?

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