Thornton to appeal 15-game ban

Updated: 12/16/2013 3:08 pm

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Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Hit with the longest suspension of the season thus far, Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton has decided to appeal.

Both the NHLPA and the Boston Globe reported Monday that the 36-year-old will not take Saturday's decision lightly and without response.

The National Hockey League issued a 15-game ban for his attack on Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik during a Dec. 7 meeting between the teams in Boston.

The long-awaited ruling came seven days after Thornton was given a major penalty and game misconduct for sucker-punching Orpik during the first period of an eventual 3-2 Bruins victory.

Thornton has already sat out Boston's last three games while awaiting a hearing from the league, which took place Friday in New York, meaning he will be eligible to return for the Bruins' visit to San Jose on Jan. 11. The veteran enforcer was also going to forfeit $84,615.45 in salary for his actions.

Under the terms of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement, Thornton had 48 hours from the decision in order to seek redress from his punishment.

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