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Report: Bettman hears Thornton’s appeal, no announcement this weekend

Dec 20, 2013, 7:22 PM EDT

shawnthorntongetty Getty Images

Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton rolled out the argument to appeal his 15-game suspension to Gary Bettman over five hours on Friday. The NHL’s commissioner will mull everything over and eventually announce a decision, but not until next week, TSN’s Darren Dreger reports.

While Bettman could conceivably alter the punishment to a satisfactory level, the natural question is: how long might it take if Thornton wants to appeal further to an independent arbitrator?

The 36-year-old has already missed six games since that Dec. 7 incident with Brooks Orpik. It seems certain that he’ll miss Saturday’s game and maybe Monday’s contest while awaiting Bettman’s announcement.

The Bruins get a holiday break between that Monday (Dec. 23) contest and their next game on Friday, Dec. 27, but that same winter break might make it difficult to line up an independent arbitrator quickly.

Here’s the remaining nine games Thornton might sit out, just to give an idea of how much time he may miss before being able to appeal to that last level:

Already missed: six games (Dec. 8 – 19)
Game 7: Dec. 21
Game 8: Dec. 23
Game 9: Dec. 27
Game 10: Dec. 28
Game 11: Dec. 31
Game 12: Jan. 2
Game 13: Jan. 4
Game 14: Jan. 7
Game 15: Jan. 9

It all makes you wonder if it will really be worth it for the rugged forward to take this process that far. As it currently stands, he’s eligible to return against the San Jose Sharks on Jan. 11.

There are still some variables to work out, as Bettman’s announcement could provide another twist or two.

Here’s the explanation of the 15-game suspension:

  1. lowenni - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:07 PM

    If this goes to an appeal he’ll end up sitting close to fifteen games anyways. He should just sit out the given suspension, it was fair. It could’ve been worse really. His apology doesn’t sound sincere if he tries to appeal this.

  2. missthemexpos - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:10 PM

    Chances of ending up with less than 15 games: 0%

  3. terrier92 - Dec 20, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    Free Shawn!!!!!!!

  4. shaundre93 - Dec 20, 2013 at 9:00 PM

    I’m sure he’s appealing based purely on the fact he got 15 while Neal got 5. I’m positive if Neal gets 10 Thornton doesn’t appeal

    • wettwork - Dec 22, 2013 at 5:36 AM

      If Neal gets 5 – Cheapshot Thorton should have gotten
      41 game suspension – WAY worse than what
      Neala-the real-FKN-Deala did …..😜

  5. spitfisher - Dec 20, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    I think it will get reduced, maybe 10 games, for reasons that he has never been suspended, plays by the ” code” and showed no ” intent” to what eventually happened. He admitted guilt and remorse immediately after the event.

    • wettwork - Dec 22, 2013 at 6:52 AM

      You really Can’t see or have a clue on his “Intent” . IMO based on what I saw just from his actions his intent was carried through perfectly with what ended up !!

    • pensnr1fan - Dec 23, 2013 at 3:36 PM

      you bruins fans never cease to amaze me…code…if he played by a code other than being a jackass he wouldn’t have done what he did….and “he showed no intent” what do you think he did when he slew footed Orpik and then proceeded to pound him like a pound of ground meat. What he did was definately intentional. He gives two craps that he felt guilty after what he did..that’s what your normal criminal does after they realize they’ve killed someone. He’s nothing but a Bruin Goon and he deserves more than what he got. His intent was to injure, plain and simple.

  6. thesportsjudge - Dec 20, 2013 at 10:50 PM

    I hope it doesn’t get reduced, at all. I like Thornton, and I believe his apology, but at some point the NHL HAS to send the message that schoolyard crap like that is just not acceptable.

  7. benrob99 - Dec 20, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    “I’m really, really sorry. Except I’m not.”

    Dirt bag.

  8. hockeyflow33 - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:02 AM

    The answer is very simple. He’s not a guy making big money so missing game checks hurts. If he misses 15 games but gets his suspension dropped to 10, he gets 5 game checks back.

    • anthj99 - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:36 AM

      Poor guy.

      • hockeyflow33 - Dec 22, 2013 at 5:00 PM

        Perhaps you can show me where I’m displaying empathy for his situation? I was bringing up facts that everyone else seemed to miss while they whined like babies.

    • dropthepuckeh - Dec 21, 2013 at 10:23 AM

      Exactly. This is about paychecks for Thornton who won’t be playing too many more years and it is also about precedent for the NHLPA. They recommended Thornton pursue the appeal. It has nothing to do with admitting guilt which he has done. This is about the NHLPA contesting whether this punishment is appropriate based on previous disciplinary actions taken by the league. It is quite possible he misses the full 15 but isn’t “charged” for them….

    • wettwork - Dec 22, 2013 at 5:47 AM

      Boo hoo 😭

      • anthj99 - Dec 23, 2013 at 5:08 PM


  9. benrob99 - Dec 21, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    Perhaps he’ll remember his game checks next time BEFORE he commits on ice assault.

  10. dalimanvan - Dec 21, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    15 games is not enough for a none hockey play, he should be happy he only got 15 games.

  11. theskinsman - Dec 21, 2013 at 2:40 PM

    Should’ve been the exact same length as Neal got.

    • spitfisher - Dec 21, 2013 at 5:55 PM

      or vice versa

    • wettwork - Dec 22, 2013 at 5:56 AM

      Ya cause Marchand has missed every game since the incident like
      Orpik has ? Get Phuck outa here !!!💩head

      • brusta1960 - Dec 22, 2013 at 6:51 AM

        So the disciplinary decision should only be based on results not intent? What Neal did was every bit as bad as what Thornton did. His intent was exactly what Thornton was trying to do. The only difference was Thornton didn’t try to hide what he was trying to do and he took responsibility for what he did unlike Neal. So really whose character is be questioned?

  12. wettwork - Dec 22, 2013 at 6:18 AM

    I’m pretty sure if you go through life Never breaking any laws , go to Church every Sunday ,Donate your time to charity work & give 25% of your salary to charities , then 1 day you snap and SNEAK Attack somebody rape them in the Pooper then kill them , I’m pretty sure nobody will care about what a nice person you were before that day , so stop with the boo hoo-ing about him being a clean player ’cause there wasn’t anything clean about that premeditated attack on Orpik over a clean hit on Erikson – he should have had his head up !!!! He got what he should’ve got by playing with his head down 💥

    • theskinsman - Dec 22, 2013 at 7:37 AM

      And Orpik got what he should have for the dangerous head shot on Erikkson. I doubt Thornton knew he had a glass jaw.

    • hockeyflow33 - Dec 22, 2013 at 4:58 PM


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