This will be a long and fateful day for NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, keeper of the league’s code of ethics.
At some point today, following an in-person hearing with Bruins forward Shawn Thornton and a phone conference with Penguins forward James Neal, Shanahan must decide how severe his punishments should be for two acts of violence in Saturday’s game between Boston and Pittsburgh.
Is a 10-game suspension enough for Thornton slew-footing Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik to the ice and knocking him unconscious with multiple punches to the head?
Fifteen games? Twenty?
For more on what Thornton had to say about the incident, check out Joe Haggerty’s blog here:
And what about Neal, who appeared to intentionally knee Bruins forward Brad Marchand in the head while Marchand was on the ice?
Is that a three-game offense? Five games, which is the maximum without an in-person hearing?
Bruins coach Claude Julien weighed in on the subject, saying Thornton owned up for his actions while Neal did not.
“Thorny did cross the line, and some others did, too,” Julien said. “You have to man up to those things, and I think he did. He’s being truthful. That’s more than we can say about players that pretend that it wasn’t done on purpose.”
What are your thoughts? If you were Shanahan, what kind of message would you send to the rest of the NHL?