Talented, elite hockey players have dodged their share of bullets from the National Hockey League when it comes to discipline. Joe Thornton's two-game suspension for a check on David Perron is a lesson that such a standard may no longer be the case.
Unfortunately, the suspension is debatable because Thornton doesn't elevate himself upwards or use his elbow. You be the judge.
While there was contact made to the head, the height difference must be taken into consideration. Thornton stands at 6' 4" and Perron is 6' 0", explaining why that check panned out the way it did. Colin Campbell was traveling and couldn't conduct the formal part of the conference call hearing, which is why Mike Murphy took over.
The San Jose captain's agent, John Thornton, is hoping to talk to the NHLPA about a possible appeal because Campbell didn't conduct the hearing directly. In his own opinion, he felt he did nothing wrong.
"I felt like I established myself on the ice," Thornton said. "I just braced myself for the hit. He just ran into me, to be honest with you."
Perron wasn't aware who checked him immediately, but was quick to point out that his opponent isn't out to hurt anyone.
"I asked the guys who hit me actually, because I didn't know who it was," Perron said after the game. "Obviously, Joe's not a dirty player."
While Thornton received a five-minute penalty and a game misconduct, Perron returned to score an insurance goal for a 2-0 St. Louis win, emphatically rubbing salt in the wound.