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Gary Bettman upholds Shawn Thornton's 15-game ban

Brooks Orpik of the Pittsburgh Penguins is carted off of the ice on a stretcher by the medical...

Brooks Orpik of the Pittsburgh Penguins is carted off of the ice on a stretcher by the medical staff in the first period after an altercation with Shawn Thornton at TD Garden on December 7, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images/AFP)

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, Last Updated: 5:17 PM ET

NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld the 15-game suspension assessed Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton by the Department of Player Safety for punching and injuring an unsuspecting opponent.

The suspension was handed down Dec. 14 and Thornton's in-person appeal was heard Dec. 20.

Thornton dropped Brooks Orpik of the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first period of a game at Boston on Dec. 7. With Orpik on the ice, Thornton landed several punches to his head. He was taken off the ice on a stretcher.

"First two, three days were miserable," Orpik said last week in his first public comments since the incident. "Headaches. Since the incident, there has been no memory loss."

The 33-year-old said he spoke to Thornton, who reached out and was apologetic, but will not watch video of the attack.

He has passed baseline concussion tests and said he is ready for contact in practice.

Under the terms of the Collective Bargaining Agreement and, based on his average annual salary, Thornton will forfeit $84,615.45. The money goes to the Players' Emergency Assistance Fund, the NHL said.


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