Trending News Monday: NHL Hits Thornton with Hard Suspension

Hard-hitting stories have plagued this holiday season: from the school shooting in Colorado that left one teen in critical condition and the shooter dead, to the tragic deaths of a newlywed Good Samaritan and a teacher and a carjacking that took the life of a lawyer shopping with his wife. This Trending News Monday, we’re focus on a hard-hitting story of a different kind.

Over the weekend, the NHL slapped Boston Bruins enforcer, Shawn Thornton, with a 15-game penalty for fighting a defenseless Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman, Brooks Orpik, on December 7. Earlier in the period, Orpik’s hit on Bruin’s Loui Eriksson left Eriksson with a concussion. Thornton later retaliated, giving Orpik a concussion of his own. Both Eriksson and Orpik remain out. The NHL tagged Thronton with the stiff penalty, ruling that the hit on Orpik was one of “retribution.”

Today, Thornton announced that he is appealing this suspension, as this is his first in his career.

Penguin’s winger James Neal was also suspended for five games for kneeing Bruin’s Brad Marchand in the head.

Hockey Fights —at least in North America—are an essential part of the game. From a game standpoint, the enforcers protect the stars; from a capitalistic standpoint, fighting entices fans to venture out to the games. Even though it’s an accepted (and expected, at times) practice, the NHL has a rather lengthy section devoted to fighting in its official rules. Additionally, Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s Vice President of Hockey and Business Development and Director of Player Safety, has been strict on fighting, issuing a number of suspensions to crack down on head hits.

In 2012, Shanahan notably handed out a 25-game suspension to Phoenix Coyotes forward Raffi Torres for his hit on Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa in a playoff game. Torres appealed and got his suspension reduced by four games.

Take a look at the Thornton/ Orpik fight and let us know your thoughts.

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Cover Photo Source: Vladislav Gajic

Cassandra is a Content Manager and Developer at SJG. She earned her BA from Fontbonne University in 2011. Outside the office, she enjoys an active, healthy and well-rounded lifestyle including reading, writing, running, golfing, watching films, listening to music, taking photographs, and consuming media and social media.