Dec 31, 2013, 12:14 PM EDT
Thornton had an appeal hearing with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman earlier this month following his lengthy ban for an attack on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, but the 15-game punishment was upheld just prior to Christmas.
Thornton had the option of a second appeal through an independent arbitrator.
As per Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, Thornton believes he could’ve gotten perhaps a game or two taken off the suspension, but “didn’t want to become a distraction to team.”
“I know I made a mistake and I crossed the line. But there were a lot of circumstances leading up to it. It won’t define me,” said Thornton on Tuesday.
He continued: “I’m still not happy w/amount of games I got, but I respect the decision. I’d rather just move on mentally.”
On Dec. 7, in a game between the Bruins and Penguins, Thornton grabbed Orpik from behind during a scrum, brought him to the ice and delivered two punches to Orpik while he was down.
Orpik was stretchered off the ice, and suffered a concussion. He has since been taken off injured reserve, playing on Dec. 27 against the Carolina Hurricanes and Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
- Video: Flames, Canucks combine for over 100 PIM in wild line brawl 15
- Preds torch Crawford, Hawks; even series at 1-1 27
- Report: Kings’ Stoll arrested for cocaine, MDMA possession (Updated) 78
- Huge loss for Preds as Weber (lower body) knocked out of Game 2 7
- Sabres? Oilers? Coyotes? Leafs? ‘Canes? — McDavid would be happy to play for any of them 37
- Stone a game-time decision, Sens downplay retaliation for Subban slash 25
- Flyers fire Berube 48
- Klingberg signs seven-year, $29.75 million extension with Stars 10
- Video: Perry paces Ducks to victory over Jets with four-point night 13
- Video: Wild hold off late push from Blues 38
- Stone suffered microfracture on Subban slash, Sens confirm (102)
- Report: Players growing tired of Darryl Sutter (94)
- Report: Kings’ Stoll arrested for cocaine, MDMA possession (Updated) (81)
- Bruins fire Chiarelli after missing playoffs (75)
- PHT Morning Skate: Ottawa Sun runs with front page headline ‘Heads Up, P.K.’ (74)