TORONTO (AP) — The Bruins’ Shawn Thornton has decided to appeal his 15-game suspension for punching and injuring unsuspecting Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik.
Thornton’s agent, Anton Thun, confirmed in an email that his client was appealing. The NHL Players’ Association announced it had informed the league of that plan before the 48-hour deadline to do so passed.
As laid out in the collective bargaining agreement, the appeal first goes to Commissioner Gary Bettman. If Bettman upholds the suspension, Thornton and the NHLPA can then elect to appeal to a neutral arbitrator.
Buffalo Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta is the only player to use this appeals process under the new CBA, and no player has gone to the neutral arbitrator. Bettman upheld Kaleta’s 10-game suspension for an illegal hit on Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Jack Johnston.
Orpik was knocked unconscious in the Dec. 7 incident and has not played since because of a concussion.