Because he was assessed a match penalty for the incident, Thornton by rule has missed the Bruins’ past three games while awaiting Friday’s in-person disciplinary hearing in New York. Following the meeting, it was not immediately known what further sanctions Thornton will face, but the league will announce the length of his suspension Saturday.
Thornton had originally attempted to get Orpik to drop the gloves after his hit on the Loui Eriksson resulted in a concussion, but Orpik would not oblige. During a stoppage in play at 11:06 of the first period, Thornton grabbed Orpik from behind, slew-footing him to the ice and punching him twice in the head. Orpik suffered a concussion and was taken off the ice on a stretcher and transported to the hospital. Orpik was released shortly after and cleared to return with the team to Pittsburgh, but says he does not remember anything from the game.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Orpik was on the ice Friday for light exercise but is still suffering from concussion symptoms. He is currently on injured reserve.
In his postgame comments following the incident, Thornton expressed regret for his actions and said he “felt sick” about what he did.
"It's hard for me to talk about right now. I can't say I'm sorry enough,” Thornton said. “I'm sure I'll be criticized, but it's true. I felt awful. It wasn't my intention. I know Brooksie. I've gotten to know him the last seven years here. I skated with him during the lockout. I texted him a couple of times. It's not what I wanted to see or anyone to see."