Gary Bettman upholds Shawn Thornton’s 15-game suspension

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman announced Tuesday that has has upheld the 15-game suspension that was assessed to Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton by the Department of Player Safety for punching and injuring an unsuspecting opponent, Brooks Orpik of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

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.

“I find that there is clear and convincing evidence to support Mr. Shanahan’s conclusion that a suspension of 15 games is appropriate.”

“There is no question that the conduct was improper, intentional and involved the use of excessive and unnecessary force,” Bettman wrote.

“Simply put, this was a bad act with a bad result, and neither will be tolerated in our game. Again, I note that Mr. Thornton has a reputation for being a ‘good actor’ and a model NHL citizen, but that does not eliminate the need for him to be punished appropriately for his bad act in this case,” the commissioner wrote.

Thornton will forfeit $84,615.45.

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