It's not quite official yet, but rumors are flying that Shawn Thornton has been suspended for 15 games by the NHL for his attack on Brooks Orpik. It looks like Darren Dreger was the source of the rumor, so it seems legit. Josh Yohe isn't so sure though.
EDIT: Now it's official. Shanahan video explanation below.
Now, we're not experts on "The Code" or anything, but we think this means a Boston player now has to attack Brendan Shanahan in order to "stick up for his teammate."
Now everyone stand back while the Internet explodes.
EDIT 2: It's bizarre hearing that the rationale for the suspension is that it was an "act of retribution."
Obviously Thornton deserved to be suspended and we agree with the 15-game length, but why use the fact that it was an "act of retribution" as the reasoning? Aren't a lot of hockey fights "acts of retribution" and yet those are considered a "part of the game?" Why not just say that Thornton was suspended for knocking an unsuspecting player down and punching him directly in the face several times? That's the truth.
If Orpik had agreed to fight and Thornton had given him a concussion during the fight, people would be saying that his "act of retribution" was "part of the game" and that we should all learn and respect "The Code."
It wasn't the "retribution" that led to the suspension. The NHL allows retribution and vigilante "justice" all the time. The reason Thornton was suspended was for the actual act of knocking someone over and slugging him in the face.
However, by saying it was because of "retribution," the NHL can pretend that it actually polices the game properly most of the time and ignore the "wild west" mentality that exists these days.