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NHL Suspends Bruins’ Thornton 15 Games for Punch

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

(AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

BOSTON (WGGB) — An NHL official says that Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton has been suspended 15 games for punching Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik during a game on December 7th at the TD Garden.

The league made the announcement Saturday, after Thornton already missed the Bruins’ last three games. That’s because Thornton was¬†assessed a match penalty for the incident and had to wait for a disciplinary hearing with the league.

The suspension is the first of Thornton’s career and will cost the forward more than $84,000 in salary.

The incident stemmed from Orpik’s hit on Loui Eriksson, where he skated past him and kneed him in the head. Eriksson suffered a concussion and Thornton tried to fight Orpik after the play. After declining, Thornton punched Orpik during a stoppage in play, causing him to fall to the ground. Thornton punched him a second time in the head and Orpik needed to be brought off the ice on a stretcher.

Thornton will be eligible to return on January 11th against the San Jose Sharks.

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