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Shawn Thornton considers his next move

Dec 24, 2013, 10:05 PM EDT

shawnthorntongetty Getty Images

The first round of Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton‘s efforts to get his 15-game suspension reduced is over. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan’s ruling over what was called an “act of retribution.”

What happens next is up to Thornton. Under the terms of the new CBA, he can now chose to further appeal his case to a neutral arbitrator. If he takes that route, he will be the first player to do so. However, whatever the arbitrator rules would be “final … and not subject to review.”

Alternatively, he could simply decide to serve out the remaining seven games and rejoin the Bruins’ lineup on Jan. 11.

For now, his agent, Anton Thun said they are in the process of reviewing Bettman’s ruling, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.

Thornton has until Dec. 31 to make his decision.

  1. lowenni - Dec 24, 2013 at 10:07 PM

    Just serve the remainder of the games. He got what he deserved. Finish up the suspension and we can all move on

  2. steelers88 - Dec 24, 2013 at 10:52 PM

    What’s the point of Thornton appealing. His eligible to comeback January 11th.

  3. c9castine - Dec 24, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    first appeal i understand. ok. second one, when all you have to do is sit out 2 weeks, is then an insult.

    if you cant deal with two weeks, as a 4th liner, in a 6 1/2 month league, then you should have never done the crime. bettman was right, his punishment was very fair, and could have reasonably been more.

    dont insult the fans of the game, the league, the players, and your own integrity. whatever is left of it at this point. just sit out till the 11th, come back and lets ALL move the f on.

  4. titansrbeast - Dec 24, 2013 at 11:47 PM

    I agree with everyone else, like wtf he has to freak out and keep appealing something that probably should have/could have been more than what he got, and he’s acting like a girl over it. Just sit out 15 games, stfu, come back and play clean… not THAT hard, is it?

    • demons87 - Dec 25, 2013 at 3:19 AM

      You’re right, why have an appeal process at all? Why have appeals for crimes for that matter? Everyone who gets sentenced should just stop acting like a girl over it. It’s not that hard right?

      Oh wait, the union collectively bargained for this appeal by a neutral arbiter because they didn’t feel Bettman was subjective enough to rule against his direct report. That’s not too hard to understand, is it?

      • titansrbeast - Dec 26, 2013 at 3:36 PM

        Riiiight, it’s the perfect thing to do to compare a crime on the street to a hockey penalty/suspension. That legit makes me LOL, you just looking for a reason to try and justify this go0ns idiotic appeal?

      • skr213 - Dec 26, 2013 at 4:28 PM

        demons: If you don’t know the difference between subjective and objective, your opinion barely registers on the scale.

    • sabatimus - Dec 25, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      I don’t mind that Thornton was made an example of; the punishments for despicable acts like this need to be punished much more severely than they are, and this serves as a precedent.

      However, enough with the misogyny. Too many people on here posting “acting like a girl” comments. Grow up.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 25, 2013 at 4:58 PM

        Well, it’s true, she is kind of acting like a girl.

      • titansrbeast - Dec 31, 2013 at 3:02 AM

        Lol why? He’s legit acting like a little whiney girl, or sorry, a little whiney CHILD, whether it be male or female. Either way, HE’S the one who needs to grow up, not me.

  5. bobhpine - Dec 24, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    The only thing this caveman achieves by appealing is to remind us of what a barbarian he is. Discretion is the better part of valor. This guy obviously has none.

    • spitfisher - Dec 25, 2013 at 12:04 AM

      You don’t watch hockey do you?

      • whammy71 - Dec 25, 2013 at 9:12 AM

        Oh that’s right…..this goon is a model hockey player cause he follows some sort of unwritten code.

        Thornton needs to STFU…take his medicine…..come back after 15 games.

  6. dufferin101 - Dec 25, 2013 at 1:16 AM

    It’s about the money he has to forfeit by being suspended for the games. Even if he has it sit out the remaining games but gets the number of suspended games reduced, he gains part of his salary back.

  7. hockeyflow33 - Dec 25, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    I’m not sure why people don’t understand why someone doesn’t want to lose nearly 20% of their pay

    • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 25, 2013 at 5:01 PM

      He should have thought of that before he acted like a total douche. That’s the core of the penalty for this knuckle dragger who really doesn’t bring anything to the game of ice hockey.

      The other posters were right, someone hand him a big cup of STFU!

  8. pitpenguinsrulez - Dec 25, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    Nothing more than a total scumbag is Thornton

    • hockeyflow33 - Dec 25, 2013 at 1:57 AM

      Is that you Yoda?

  9. demons87 - Dec 25, 2013 at 3:12 AM

    The whole suspension/appeal process is a joke.

    He was suspended but didn’t know his sentence until a week later and then the appeal verdict is given 17 days later by the supervisor of the guy who gave the initial suspension. If he were to appeal, he probably wouldn’t hear back for a week to 10 days based on this time table, which would be just about his entire suspension. They have been dragging their heels so that he really didn’t have any ability to appeal. If the union doesn’t do something to ensure their members get a speed appeal, then they have lost the ability to defend their members.

    The union needs to push a timetable for the suspension/appeal process. I think it is certainly reasonable to expect the league to meet with the player by day 3 and have a ruling by the next day. It is also reasonable to expect the commissioners appeal verdict within a few days. The suspension/appeal process should take no longer than a week. It’s not like Bettman is ever going to go against what Shanahan rules anyway. This would allow the real appeal process to take place.

    If I were the union, I would have Thornton push the issue, see when the neutral arbiter makes his ruling, and then use that to show the need for a better timetable. If they don’t, they just show they are going to let the league walk all over them.

    • joey4id - Dec 25, 2013 at 10:21 AM

      You can find all the flaws about the framework and appeal process that you want. The fact remains that it was agreed upon between the union and owners, and it is documented in the CBA. At this stage you can’t make up new policies and practices that are not included in the CBA. Both parties are following the protocol as written in the CBA. Fehr, his army of labor lawyers, and the membership are responsible for the current situation. The NHL followed the CBA when handing out the suspension, and they continue to do so during the appeal process.

      “As per the NHL CBA, the league considers a number of factors when determining the length of a suspension, including the following: (1) the excessive and unnecessary nature of the act, (2) the injury sustained, (3) whether the player has a rap sheet or is a repeat offender, and (4) the circumstances of the game. The league can also consider any other relevant surrounding circumstances.”

      • demons87 - Dec 25, 2013 at 1:34 PM

        That is exactly why the union needs to press the issue of the timetable. If it is not expressed explicitly in the CBA as to time the commissioner has to appeal, then why does he have to rule on the appeal until after the suspension is over. This isn’t going to help Thornton as much as the next guy. I think Thornton knows that too. His dilemma is that he will taking a beating for exercising his rights and get no real benefit from it, maybe a game or two at best based on the timing. However, maybe next time someone has a lengthy suspension, the appeal verdict won’t come 8 games into the suspension.

  10. theskinsman - Dec 25, 2013 at 5:42 AM

    What the ruling should teach Thornton is to next time he finds a pen down on the ice, skate into his head with your knee- it’s only 5 games.

    • shaundre93 - Dec 25, 2013 at 9:52 AM

      Especially considering it wont matter that he’s a repeat offender. Honestly, what I’ve taken out of this is that you can do whatever you damn well please out on the ice until someone gets hurt, then its a heinous crime

    • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 25, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      You seem to forget, the target of the knee was Marchmallow. He deserved it and I’m sure the league took that under consideration.

      • matt14gg - Dec 26, 2013 at 9:02 AM

        Even for you that’s an idiotic comment.

  11. damyourestupid - Dec 25, 2013 at 8:22 AM

    You do understand that he’s a repeat offender now? Kneeing an opponent in the head won’t just be five games. I’m sure you know that though, I hope you’d know that…it’s not like you’re an idiot…right?

    • packerswin96 - Dec 25, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      James Neal was a repeat offender, this is his 3rd suspension. Somehow this is only Thornton’s 1st

    • theskinsman - Dec 25, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      Appropriate screen name- it’s Neal’s 3rd suspension. He got 5 games, for a knee to the head of a defenseless player…which is pretty meaningless. Must be because he’s one of Mario’s chosen ones, who have a different set of rules according to the NHL.

      • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 25, 2013 at 5:07 PM

        Kind of like the Bruins with Greg Campbell and his father Colon, but the appropriateness of the screen name is great.

  12. wishingtonredslur - Dec 25, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    Hmmmm my next move might be… sucker punching someone in the back of the head, yesssss!

  13. hosewater2 - Dec 25, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Just like a labor union to stick up for its weakest lowest link.

  14. benrob99 - Dec 25, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    “I’m really, really sorry… except I’m not”.


    One more time…. if you don’t want to lose 20% of your salary… DON’T assault someone from behind tough guy. Thornton should be sending flowers to Shanny’s office every day for ONLY getting 15 games in the first place.

  15. bigoldorcafromvan - Dec 25, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP. Do you time and play on you deserve what you got.

  16. bsfan77 - Dec 25, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    Neal deserved more but when you are one of Mario’s chosen ones, the refs and Buttman turn their heads. It is all good until you hit poor little Cindy like the Sens did the other night. First thing he starts crying about in his post game was how it was a dirty hit and that the leauge should look at it. Hey Cindy, hip to the thigh is a clean hit. What Thornton did was wrong but the hit Orpik delivered to Ericsson was borderline at best. Maybe Orpik will thinktwice next time he tries to take someones head off. Pitt fans have no room or buisness talking about dirty hits or plays. They are the worst offenders and losing respect in the leauge by the day.

    • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 25, 2013 at 5:12 PM

      When do the tears in Boston dry up? Somewhat of a rhetorical question I know, but suggesting Orpik’s hit was anything but clean really is getting old; even for the crowd of whiners on Boston. It’s not Orpik’s fault Eriksson can’t play with his head up. Eriksson should have learned that after Scott hit him. I’m still a little surprised a bsfan knows how to spell respect, much less bs.

  17. theskinsman - Dec 25, 2013 at 5:23 PM

    Orpik,and anyone who defends him is a gutless coward. He deserved what he got as well.Next time drop the gloves and at least pretend to hang on and turtle. The refs will run in to save you. No one rooting for Boston is crying, no matter how many starters they lost to dirty ,cheap hits. The team has the depth to keep winning, Thornton isn’t that important, but what’s sad is the blatant inequity in discipline in the case of Neal, who has a history of being a cheap shot artist (3rd suspension) and Thornton, who gets 15 games for his 1st. Who knew Orpik had the jaw of an 80 year old? I sure hope he gets hit exactly like Erikkson did repeatedly as soon as he’s back, since all you twits think it was a good,clean head shot.

    • greenmtnboy31 - Dec 25, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      Keep crying about it and ignore the clean shoulder to Eriksson’s chest you whiny keyboard coward.

    • pens5829 - Dec 25, 2013 at 10:33 PM

      I gotta ask. Is your real name Tom Brady? Cause you sure whine a lot.

    • shawnthehockeykid - Dec 25, 2013 at 10:49 PM

      As a Bruins fan you make me sick. I didn’t even waste my energy reading your whole whine. Yes I will admit that crosses your head at first but it’s been a few weeks to come back to earth. Whether or not you agree with the suspension or not. You are the reason people think you are a model Bruins fan. People stereotype us to be like you. And when I hear people on talking about how Bruins fans are all like you it makes me sick. Don’t say anything if you are going to be a baby.

      • theskinsman - Dec 27, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        I don’t care if you agree with me, and I really don’t post with any regard how others stereotype fans of any team.
        But thanks for the laugh that I have such great power.
        And if you’re a Bruins fan, I’m secretly a Pens fan. Grow the hell up and speak your mind, stop worrying about what others say about you. You’ll find out once you get past Junior High.

  18. nhstateline - Dec 27, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    the other one: next time a Bruin sees Crosby or Malkin skating near but not with the puck, launch with the shoulder straight for the head like Orpik did. That’s not a penalty no matter what the end result of the play is. This, to me is the other joke about this whole situation.

  19. nhstateline - Dec 27, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    Somebody is going to appeal. It’s inevitable because if the PA wins the case, that shifts a good bit of the discipline away from the NHL toward an independent arbiter and those tend to be more labor than management friendly in general. The basis for an appeal can be 1) this is arbitrary because it’s beyond the usual discipline a first time offender would get, 2) the entire NHL system of accounting for the end result of the play in discipline is ridiculous because it is subjective. Something’s either allowed or it isn’t, the net result doesn’t matter as much as the incident, the NHL system puts too much weight on results and not enough on initial actions and 3) in the context of this game its disproportionate because Orpik got nothing, Dupuis got nothing for slashing Chris Kelly’s leg and those two plays produced serious injuries and Neal only got five games for a head shot that was no different in nature from what Thornton did. Thus, the entire disciplinary structure is flawed and needs to be put in the hands of someone not associated with management. Do I think this is the right case to try to move discipline away from the NHL toward an arbiter ? It’s better than the other ones that have come before it but it isn’t perfect. I think this is a tougher call for the PA than it is for the player who really has nothing to lose by appealing in this direction. The PA could lose its shot at shifting discipline so I do not think they have exactly the same interests in this that Shawn Thornton does.

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