New York, NY, United States (4E Sports) – NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has maintained the 15-game suspension for Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton for his attack on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik.
“I find that there is clear and convincing evidence to support Mr. Shanahan’s conclusion that a suspension of 15 games is appropriate,” Bettman said in a statement, referring to vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan’s earlier verdict.
Bettman believes that Thornton was looking for retribution for Orpik’s earlier hit on Bruins teammate Loui Eriksson, who suffered a concussion.
“There is no question that the conduct was improper, intentional and involved the use of excessive and unnecessary force,” Bettman said.
Thornton received a match penalty for attacking Orpik during a stoppage in play at 11:06 of the first period on Dec. 7 at TD Garden.
Orpik suffered a concussion and was taken off the ice on a stretcher after Thornton slew-footed him and punched him twice in the head.
“Simply put, this was a bad act with a bad result, and neither will be tolerated in our game,” Bettman said.
Thornton, who will forfeit $84,615.45 in salary, can appeal to an independent arbitrator and has seven days to make that decision. He will be eligible to return on Jan. 11 against the San Jose Sharks.
“We respect the process, including the ability to attend the hearing with commissioner Bettman in support of Shawn,” Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli said in a statement.