Bruins forward Shawn Thornton  said the following in a statement released by the team following the announcement of his 15-game suspension Saturday:
“I am aware of today’s ruling by the NHL  Department of Player Safety. I will be consulting with the Bruins, my representation and the NHLPA about next steps, and will be in a position to address the matter publicly after speaking with those parties. Until then I will have no further comment.”
The “next steps” to which Thornton refers is the option of appealing the suspension. Under the new collective bargaining agreement, players can appeal suspensions that are for more than six games. Such appeals first go to the commissioner, and then to a neutral arbitrator. Players have 48 hours after their ruling to appeal.
If Thornton is to appeal the suspension, he will be the second player to do so this season. Sabres winger Patrick Kaleta appealed his 10-game suspension in October but did not take it any further after after his ban was upheld by Gary Bettman.
Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli also offered a statement on the suspension, though he had little to say.
“We respect the process including the ability to attend and present our case in person,” Chiarelli said. “At this time, we will decline comment until the process is complete and Shawn has exhausted all rights available to him.”
Under Thornton’s 15-game suspension, of which he has served three games already, he is currently in line to be eligible to return to the Bruins lineup on Jan. 11 in San Jose.
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