Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton was suspended 15 games for attacking Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik during their game on Dec. 7, the NHL announced Saturday.
Thornton will forfeit $84,615.45 in salary from the suspension.
Thornton has missed the Bruins' last three games while waiting for Friday's in-person hearing with the NHL in New York. By rule, he was forced to sit out because he was assessed a match penalty. It is Thornton's first suspension.
Thornton grabbed Orpik from behind at the 11:06 mark of the first period and punched him in the head two times. Orpik left the game on a stretcher with a concussion and was taken to a hospital.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said Orpik skated lightly on Friday during practice but still has concussion symptoms. He is on injured reserve.
Thornton said after the Dec. 7 game that he regretted the incident and "felt sick" about it.
"It's hard for me to talk about right now. I can't say I'm sorry enough," Thornton said. "I'm sure I'll be criticized, but it's true. I felt awful. It wasn't my intention. I know Brooksie. I've gotten to know him the last seven years here. I skated with him during the lockout. I texted him a couple of times. It's not what I wanted to see or anyone to see."