The NHL announced Tuesday the Boston Bruins forward will learn his fate on Friday, when he has an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety for his actions on Saturday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He had been suspended indefinitely pending the hearing and will have missed three games by the time he has the meeting. The league offers in-person meetings for any suspension that has the potential to exceed five games, but it could also be less.
Thornton, 36, skated down the ice during Boston's 3-2 win to confront Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik, who was involved in a scrum. The Oshawa, Ont., native pulled Orpik down from behind and proceeded to punch him in the face while he was laying on the ice.
Orpik was down for several minutes and left the game on a stretcher. The club announced Monday the 6'2 blue-liner was placed on injured reserve with a concussion.
There was speculation Thornton may have been responding to an incident earlier in the game, in which Orpik nailed Boston's Loui Eriksson with a hit that forced him to leave the game. Thornton challenged Orpik to a fight, but was refuted.
Eriksson was placed on injured reserve Tuesday.
That wasn't the only controversial incident from the game though. Earlier Pittsburgh winger James Neal skated by Brad Marchand as he was down on the ice, and kneed him in the head as he skated by. Neal was banned five games by the NHL for his actions.Suggest a correction