NHL commissioner Gary Bettman came down with a ruling in the Shawn Thornton appeal late Tuesday morning, upholding the 15-game suspension the Bruins forward was hit with for his actions against Pittsburgh’s Brooks Orpik.
The NHLPA contended that Thornton’s ban should be reduced to 10 or 12 games, but Bettman wrote in his final ruling that he is “comfortable relying on [NHL disciplinarian Brendan] Shanahan’s judgment.”
The commissioner concluded that the suspension was “supported with clear and convincing evidence.”
“Simply put, this was a bad act with a bad result, and neither will be tolerated in our game,” Bettman wrote. “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.”
Thornton has not played since being ejected from Boston’s game against the Penguins on Dec. 7. He will be eligible to return to the lineup Jan. 11, when the Bruins visit the Sharks in San Jose.
Thornton also has the right to appeal the ban again through a neutral arbitrator if he so chooses.