Boston Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton will not go through with a second appeal of his 15-game suspension, as per Amalie Benjamin of the Boston Globe.
Thornton had an appeal hearing with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman earlier this month following his lengthy ban for an attack on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik, but the 15-game punishment was upheld just prior to Christmas.
Thornton had the option of a second appeal through an independent arbitrator.
As per Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com, Thornton believes he could’ve gotten perhaps a game or two taken off the suspension, but “didn’t want to become a distraction to team.”
“I know I made a mistake and I crossed the line. But there were a lot of circumstances leading up to it. It won’t define me,” said Thornton on Tuesday.
He continued: “I’m still not happy w/amount of games I got, but I respect the decision. I’d rather just move on mentally.”
On Dec. 7, in a game between the Bruins and Penguins, Thornton grabbed Orpik from behind during a scrum, brought him to the ice and delivered two punches to Orpik while he was down.
Orpik was stretchered off the ice, and suffered a concussion. He has since been taken off injured reserve, playing on Dec. 27 against the Carolina Hurricanes and Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Earlier in the game, Orpik delivered a thunderous hit on Bruins’ forward Loui Eriksson, who left the game and suffered a concussion on the play.
The NHL Department of Player Safety handed Thornton a 15-game suspension for his incident with Orpik – a controversial decision with those in the Bruins organization.
Zdeno Chara will return to the Boston Bruins’ lineup on Tuesday against the New York Islanders, as per Joe Haggerty of CSNNE.com.
Chara, Boston’s towering defenseman and captain, did not play Saturday against the Ottawa Senators with an unspecified injury and had been listed as day-to-day.
The Bruins come into the game four points ahead of the Tampa Bay Lightning for top spot in the Atlantic Division, while the Islanders are at the bottom of the Metropolitan Division with 12 wins and 31 points.
There was more good news to come from the Bruins on the injury front.
Loui Eriksson (concussion) skated with his teammates yet again on Tuesday, as per Joe Haggerty, who also reported that Carl Soderberg also skated.
The big question for the Bruins on Saturday was: could Boston persevere without Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg in the lineup? The Ottawa Senators and Bobby Ryan seemingly answered that with an “almost,” as they beat them 4-3 in an up-and-down game.
Ryan’s goal came when he beat Torey Krug for a breakaway, which prompted some to wonder if Krug would be in such a situation if Chara was healthy:
That wasn’t the only bit of drama. Ottawa chased Tuukka Rask from Boston’s net by scoring three goals on him about 30 seconds into the second period. Jarome Iginla and David Warsofsky scored goals to tie it up with Chad Johnson in net, but Ryan’s goal ended up being the game-winner.
(Ryan, 26, now has 18 goals on the season, by the way.)
The Senators avenge a 5-0 loss to Boston on Friday, improving to 16-18-7, while the B’s see a four-game winning streak end and slide to 26-11-2.