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Shawn Thornton Will Appeal His Suspension


The next tweet from Bob McKenzie...

If, after receiving Bettman's judgment and narrative, Thornton wants to appeal that, he can go to independent arbitrator.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Boston Bruins, NHL Talk, NHLPA, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: shawn+thornton


phillyd's avatar

Can the suspension be increased during the appeals process?

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 12/16/13 at 04:58 PM ET

Paul's avatar

pd, Bettman has the power to do that.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 12/16/13 at 05:00 PM ET

phillyd's avatar

Thanks, Paul. Seems like a risk in appealing then, especially considering the nature of the incident.

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 12/16/13 at 05:01 PM ET

Primis's avatar

It’d be interesting if at a certain threshold of this stuff, the NHLPA could then expel members.

So say the PA really in fact doesn’t like what Thornton did, they could terminate his membership and then basically leave him to the wolves, because there’d be no collectively-bargained guarantee of anything for Thornton.  So maybe then the NHL could REALLY lay into him.

Posted by Primis on 12/16/13 at 05:05 PM ET

Alan's avatar

I believe the arbitrator also has full authority to reduce or increase the length of the suspension, should Punky McCheapshot decide to double down on appeals.

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 12/16/13 at 07:19 PM ET

Paul's avatar

This tweet from John Shannon,

So…here’s one for you…NHLPA say the Neutral Arbitrator cannot increase Thornton’s suspension…and the NHL says he can increase it.

So maybe I was wrong about Bettman having the ability to increase the suspension himself. I knew someone had it.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 12/16/13 at 07:24 PM ET

Alan's avatar

According to Nick Cotsonika of Yahoo Sports (on 17 Oct 2013), the neutral arbitrator has “full remedial authority”. Now, I could be entirely incorrect in my thinking, but I read that as having the ability to up the penalty. This was regarding the Kaleta suspension.


I guess we really have no idea until a suspension is actually brought before a neutral arbitrator?

Posted by Alan from Atlanta on 12/16/13 at 08:02 PM ET

redxblack's avatar

It sounds like the arbitration clause for supplemental discipline was not worded very well at all if both sides have opposite reads on it.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/16/13 at 11:12 PM ET


I think the NHL wins this dispute any way it turns out.. If it is upheld, then it looks like they are trying to reduce violence and head injury. If the NHLPA wins then they look like they support cheap shots and don’t care about its other members. Also the NHL can use it in the concussion lawsuit, to say they want to reduce head shots and the NHLPA is to blame. The visuals of this are brutal and the NHLPA can only look bad for supporting the appeal.

Posted by timbits on 12/16/13 at 11:41 PM ET


Can the suspension be increased during the appeals process?

Posted by phillyd from Southern New Jersey on 12/16/13 at 03:58 PM ET

My thought exactly!!!

Posted by Joe on 12/17/13 at 12:07 AM ET

redxblack's avatar

Don’t forget the NHLPA is also seeking to protect the best interests of the injured parties in these situations. They are ensuring the suspension is not arbitrary, knee jerk, disproportionate or greatly different than other discipline from similar incidents. I believe the 15 game suspension is appropriate. However, I’m hard pressed to find another first time supplemental discipline that was a 15 game suspension. Then again, hauling someone to the ice and knocking them out like that rarely happens.

Of course, had the league not organized, a dept of player safety would likely not even exist in the first place. There’d just be a dean of discipline with a wheel and a hammer, like the one Rocket Richard faced in the SCF.

Posted by redxblack from Akron Ohio on 12/17/13 at 12:35 AM ET


Think the union has to appeal this under the present leadership. Seems like Shanahan has been upping suspensions this season compared to last. That comes at a high financial cost to the membership. Fehr needs to demonstrate pushback to perform his job, even if the cause is for an action as unsympathetic as Thornton’s or a guy as unsympathetic as Kaleta.

Someone might think that member safety is an equally important job for a union official…but Fehr doesn’t really see it that way and never has. See also; his fight against not only fines, but testing for illegal substances in baseball.

Steroids and HgH are thought to cause all sorts of long-term problems, from brain damage to heart disease to sterility to cancer, but he fought tooth and nail to prevent any and all measures designed to reduce their usage.

That said, Thornton’s crocodile tears in his post-game conference are looking pretty insincere right about now.

Posted by larry on 12/17/13 at 04:11 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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