In the new collective bargaining agreement, players are allowed to appeal suspensions, first to commissioner Gary Bettman and then with a neutral arbitrator. Thornton is the second player to appeal a suspension, as Sabres forward Patrick Kaleta appealed his 10-game suspension earlier this season and was denied by the commissioner. He did not take it to a neutral arbitrator.
Thornton has not played the last four games and is set to sit out the next 11 before being eligible to return Jan. 11 against the Sharks in San Jose. He practiced with the Bruins Monday.
The Boston Herald’s Steve Conroy was the first to report the appeal, with the NHLPA since announcing the appeal.
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