Thornton's appeal to Bettman on Friday

Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton will have the appeal of his 15-game suspension heard by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman on Friday morning, a source told ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun.

If the suspension remains six or more games after Bettman makes a ruling, Thornton can then appeal to an independent arbitrator.

Thornton received the 15-game ban for attacking and injuring Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik on Dec. 7.