Shawn Thornton, James Neal face hearings with NHL Department of Player Safety

Jared Wickerham

Thornton's hearing will be in-person, while Neal will meet with the league over the phone.

The consequences for Shawn Thornton's disturbing assault on Brooks Orpik came down quickly on Saturday night, as the NHL Department of Player Safety confirmed he will have an in-person meeting to determine a suspension.

An in-person hearing allows the NHL to suspend a player for more than five games, and Thornton is suspended indefinitely until the hearing takes place.

Pittsburgh Penguins forward James Neal will have a phone hearing with the league for kneeing Bruins forward Brad Marchand in the head during the same game.

Thornton was apologetic for his actions after the game, telling reporters, "I made a mistake."

For the audio-impaired:

It was not my intention, I feel awful. I felt sick all game.

It's always my job to defend my teammates but I've prided myself for a long time to stay within the lines. It is hard to talk about right now. I can't say I am sorry enough. I am sure I will be criticized for saying it, but it is true. I hope he's doing alright.

Neal, on the other hand, defended his actions to reporters after the game. He insisted his kneeing incident was unintentional.

Either way, expect the NHL to come down hard on both players.

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