Bruins enforcer Shawn Thornton knew he was headed to the NHL offices in New York City for an in-person meeting with NHL Director of Players Safety Brendan Shanahan for his attack on Brooks Orpik last weekend, and now he knows when it will be.
Thornton is scheduled to meet with Shanahan in person on Friday to discuss the incident with Orpik that led to him slewfooting the Pittsburgh defenseman, and then knocking him out on the ice with two punches to the defenseless skater. Thornton has never been suspended or even been a part of a phone/in-person disciplinary in an 11-year career with almost 1,000 PIMs, but he’s facing a long suspension as a result of the ugly incident.
He will miss his second game on Tuesday night while indefinitely suspended waiting for his hearing with the league, but those games will count toward the final sentence handed down by the NHL. Shanahan was in California for the NHL Board of Governors meeting at the beginning of this week, and couldn’t be back to New York City for an in-person hearing until the latter portion of this week.
Here’s a synopsis of what the NHL is examining leading into the Friday hearing:
At 11:06 of the first period, Thornton confronted Orpik in a scrum, pulling him to the ice and throwing punches. Orpik was removed from the ice on a stretcher. The Penguins announced after the game he would travel with the team back to Pittsburgh; he had been taken to a local hospital, where he was alert and conscious.
Thornton was assessed a match penalty on the play.
The following grounds are being considered for supplemental discipline: rule 46.2, aggressor and rule 46.15, match penalty.
Orpik suffered a concussion as a result of the incident, and was placed on injured reserve by the Penguins on Monday after complaining of neck pain, back pain and headaches stemming from the confrontation. The Friday hearing was first reported by TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie.