Referee Don VanMassenhoven says he knows what was said to Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton by a Chicago Blackhawks players as he left the ice with a cut to his forehead when the teams played on March 29.
Thornton was going off for repairs after getting cut by the skate of Hawks forward Fernando Pisani. As he passed by the Hawks bench something was said to him which made him turn angrily to confront the instigator. VanMassenhoven held him back.
"I heard someone say, 'Get off the ice, get off the [expletive] ice,'" VanMassenhoven said. "I don't know who said it."
Thornton received approximately 40 stitches and hasn't played since the incident. He skated on Wednesday, however, and played that night.
Earlier in the March 29 game, Thornton had a near knee-to-knee collision with Hawks defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson. The Bruins won the game 3-0.
Jesse Rogers covers the Blackhawks for ESPNChicago.com.