UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
SI Wire

Gary Bettman upholds Bruins forward Shawn Thornton's 15-game suspension

Bruins forward Shawn Thornton will forfeit $84,615 for a hit that left Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik unconscious on Dec. 7. (Jared Wickersham/Getty Image) Shawn Thornton's hit left Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik unconscious on Dec. 7. (Jared Wickersham/Getty Image)

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Tuesday upheld the 15-game suspension originally assessed Dec. 14 to Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton, according to a report from the NHL Department of Player Safety.

The 36-year-old had punched Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik in the first period of the Bruins' 3-2 win at on home Dec. 7. Bettman's decision comes days after the commissioner heard Thornton's appeal at a Dec. 20 hearing in New York. Thornton will also forfeit $84,615.45 because of the suspension.

MUIR: Top 13 NHL Players of 2013

Orpik, who was unconscious on the ice following the incident, was taken to a Boston-area hospital and released. Thornton later admitted in a report from Boston Globe reporter Fluto Shinzawa that he felt awful about the incident but that it's his job to protect his players:

"Listen, I feel awful. It wasn’t my intention. I know Brooksy, I’ve gotten to know him over the last 7 years here, I skate with him in the summer, through the lockout. I’ve texted him a couple of times. I definitely feel awful. It was not what I wanted to see or what anyone wanted to see."

The Bruins, currently 25-10 and first in the Atlantic Division, are in a race for the top spots in the Eastern Conference with the Pittsburgh Penguins, currently 27-11 and first in the Metropolitan Division.

SI Wire: Blue Jackets’ Marian Gaborik breaks collarbone against Flyers

More SI Wire

SI.com

Drag this icon to your bookmark bar.
Then delete your old SI.com bookmark.

SI.com

Click the share icon to bookmark us.