Players on the bench should never interfere with gameplay on the ice. That includes ‘harmless’ plays like spraying your water bottle into an opposing player’s face. Shawn Thornton, I’m looking at you.
As far as using punishment to deter such behavior, the NHL hasn’t been too successful. The fine levied on Thornton for his actions was a whopping $2,820.52 – the maximum allowed under the CBA.
CBA Section 18.7 – Fines
A fine may be … up to 50% of the player’s salary … divided by the number of days in the regular season … but in no event shall it exceed $10,000 for the first fine and $15,000 for any subsequent fine in a rolling 12-month calendar period.
I know Thornton doesn’t make superstar money, but he’s doing okay at $1.1M per season. Even though he doesn’t get paid in the postseason – aside from team-awarded playoff-round bonuses – I think he can handle this fine.
As a matter of fact, I think he’d gladly play another $2,820 to do it again.
Shawn Thornton’s reaction after hearing about his punishment:
From the NHL:
NEW YORK (May 11, 2014) – Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton has been fined $2820.52, the maximum permitted under the CBA, for unsportsmanlike conduct during Game 5 of the teams’ Second Round Stanley Cup Playoffs series in Boston on Saturday, May 10, the National Hockey League’s Department of Player Safety announced today.The incident occurred at 19:13 of the third period. No penalty was assessed on the play.The fine money goes to the Players’ Emergency Assistance Fund.