Why Shawn Thornton will be suspended 20-plus games

 

No one buries a story better than the Boston media. And what is going on regarding the assault by the coward Shawn Thornton on Brooks Orpik is simply one of the biggest jokes we've ever seen.

Thornton's hearing is apparently Friday:

 

 

We believe Thornton should get 20-plus games for the following reasons:

– The incident wasn't within the game. This was an attack; don't lose sight of this.
– Because of the nature of the attack, Brooks Orpik was seriously injured.
– This situation was premediated.
– The only player that caused this was Shawn Thornton. 

In the Sheriff Shanny era, he has never been faced with an assualt-like situation. So let's look back through the books at some similar situations.

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Todd Bertuzzi sucker-punches Steve Moore

Suspension Length: 23 Games

You know a situation was bad when it has its own Wikipedia page.
 
This whole incident is still being talked about, really. There will be a trial in September 2014, in which Moore is suing everyone for $38 million. Moore was never cleared to play hockey again after this. 
 

How this is similar to Shawn Thornton/Brooks Orpik

This is strikingly similar to the assault by Shawn Thornton. The only thing missing is Brooks Orpik breaking his neck, which could have easily happened.
 
 

Marty McSorley slashes Donald Brashear

Suspension Length: 23 Games

This was one of the more terrifying plays of the last 25 years. For a split-second, you almost think Brashear is dead.
McSorley was actually found guilty of assault but never served any time. 

Here's an interesting article 10 years after the fact. Note the quote by Campbell:

"I think that incident basically ended stick incidents," said Campbell, noting the exception of the Islanders’ concussed Chris Simon swinging his stick into the face of the Rangers’ Ryan Hollweg on March 8, 2007. "Players understand the gravity of the situation. I think the authorities should stay out of sports and how they discipline their athletes. However, having said that, when you cross the line to the point McSorley did by using his stick, all athletes should be prepared to face whatever consequence occurs." 

How this is similar to Shawn Thornton/Brooks Orpik

The only real similarity is the shock value of the incident. As Dupuis and other Penguins quickly called for the training staff, you had to have been thinking the absolute worst. Those frantic calls for assistance are never a good thing. See Ken Schrader signaling for help after looking into Dale Earnhardt's racecar. Go to 5:28 of this video to see Schrader's first statements after the crash.

 

Chris Simon tries to cut Jarkko Ruutu's foot off

Suspension Length: 30 games (Longest ever)

Seems like this was forever ago. Chris Simon was a complete pyschopath, and the NHL is lucky he never killed anyone.

How this is similar to Shawn Thornton/Brooks Orpik

The intent to injure is the common thread here. Other than that, the plays aren't extremely close.

 

Dale Hunter cheap-shots Pierre Turgeon

Suspension length: 21 games

Turgeon's goal put the game out of reach, clinching an Islanders' series win.

How this is similar to Shawn Thornton/Brooks Orpik

If you want real talk, this is the closest out of all these incidents. It didn't happen within the game, it was a surprise attack, and the intent to injure was plain as day. Only difference is Dale Hunter had proven prior to the incident that he was an NHL player while Shawn Thornton really never has.

 

Summary

Now watching this harrowing Orpik video in the context of these other incidents, how could you possibly argue that these five aren't in the same category? Orpik did get hurt. He even suffered some short-term memory loss. If you've ever experienced short-term memory loss or have witnessed firsthand someone who has, it is one of the scariest things you can imagine.

The NHL has a chance to make a statment with Thornton. If he gets 20+ games, it hopefully will deter any other players from maliciously assaulting other players outside the boundaries of play on the ice.

 

 

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