The NHL has suspended Sharks center Joe Thornton
for two games and Thornton will be forced to forfeit $77,419.36 in salary as a result of a play involving St. Louis Blues forward David Perron.
“We strongly disagree with the two-game suspension handed down by the NHL today to Joe Thornton
,” Sharks Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Wilson. “What is most distressing is that we feel the suspension is not consistent to the recent reviews by the League following similar collisions resulting in players leaving the penalty box and establishing their place on the ice, including Willie Mitchell on Jonathan Toews.
“In Joe’s case, it was clearly not a predatory-type hit with an intent to injure, shown by the fact that the player returned to the ice for his next shift so it is clear that the contact to the head was minimal. We put a lot of time and effort into helping define the NHL’s new rule on headshots but we feel strongly that this suspension is not a reflection of the rule’s true intent.”
On the play, Thornton was stepping out of the box and he and Perron collided. The Blues trainer came to the ice, but Perron was able to resume playing within almost a minute of clock time.
Thornton will miss games against Tampa Bay (Nov. 6) and Anaheim (Nov. 9). He is eligible to return Nov. 11 against the New York Islanders.