Don’t read too much into what Ray Shero and Dan Bylsma said about Boston’s Shawn Thornton on Saturday.
They might have been playing a legal game by calling him an “honest player.”
They might believe, that – but it was the smart thing for them to say in the wake Thornton’s 15-game suspension.
The Penguins, as does the NHL, thinks there is a chance Thornton will appeal. His argument could be that he had no prior supplemental discipline history, so the 15 games is too harsh a penalty.
If there is an appeal and that is his argument, the NHL wants to have established it is setting precedent with Thornton by declaring that all players, not matter their history, face stiff penalty if they commit premeditate assault, as the NHL has ruled Thornton did on Brooks Orpik.
If the NHL makes that argument against Thornton’s, the words by Shero and Bylsma will only support the league. Thornton, being an honest player, should be no exception to common-sense rules not to assault players on the ice.
The rules have changed, basically.
The NHL will argue that, which would make the Penguins’ words in response to Thornton’s suspension make a lot more sense.
Rob Rossi, ClearChannel’s Penguins Insider, cover the NHL for Trib Total Media. In addition to this blog, his articles can be found here:http://triblive.com/sports/penguins/