Boston Bruins president Cam Neely joined Felger & Mazz on Thursda, and given that it was their first discussion since the 15-game suspension was handed to Shawn Thornton, that was naturally a big topic.
Neely said the 15-game suspension given to Thornton was longer than he expected, and he hinted at a discrepancy between that suspension and the five-game ban handed to James Neal for his kneeing of Brad Marchand.
“I know that they don’t look at incidences and compare them, but from my perspective I felt what Neal did to Marchand — and that was with full intent — was as bad,” Neely said. “I know Shawn’s looked really ugly, and it was really ugly, and I know that he certainly felt terrible after, like most athletes do. But I wasn’t’ expecting 15 games.”
A major point of debate when it comes to NHL supplemental discipline is how much weight is placed on the result of a hit or play instead of the intent of the action. Neely seemed to believe that whether a player suffers an injury or not, it shouldn’t weigh as heavily in the decision.
“If you can prove that there was clear intent, I think that should weigh heavily, and not just ‘OK, he wasn’t hurt’ or ‘He was hurt,'” Neely said.
Neely also said the Bruins learned of Thornton’s 15-game suspension last Saturday through media reports and not by a representative of the league. Neely said the team has addressed that situation with the league.
“So somebody somewhere put something out [to the media] before we heard about it,” Neely said. “It’s wrong, it’s not the way it should go down at all. I don’t know how they’re going to be able to find this person, but I don’t like it. It shouldn’t have happened.”
Neely also was asked about whether the team will try to go after John Scott in Buffalo, what’s wrong with Brad Marchand and how the team can manage Zdeno Chara’s minutes.