Thornton Gets 15: Fair in a Vacuum

**Note** This blog was originally posted on December 14, 2013.  Due to site upgrades, we had to repost this on December 23.

Shawn Thornton received a 15 game suspension today for his attack (hurts to call it that, but it’s true) on Brooks Orpik. I would have gone either 10 or 12 but 15 is fair.  He’s never done anything deserving of a suspension in his career, but this is the kind of example in which the NHL really does have to send a message.  Only problem is that, compared to James Neal, the suspension is a little confusing, just because Neal’s was bullshit.

A guy who headhunted two Flyers during the same damn shift two years ago (and would’ve gotten him more than 1 game if it wasn’t the playoffs), and also dished out a headshot during his time in Dallas, got only 5 for kneeing Marchand.  His knee easily could’ve gotten Marchand unfortunately on the temple as Thornton’s fist did, and we’d remember this a lot differently.  He didn’t even get an in person suspension, which is insane.  Neal should’ve had 10, and Thornton either the same or a little more.  So 15 for Thornton is pretty much fair, but it raises more questions about how Neal got off so lightly.

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