Boston Bruins forward Shawn Thornton told reporters after practice on Tuesday that he has decided not to appeal his 15-game NHL suspension to an independent arbitrator.
"I'd rather not be a distraction around here and I'd rather just focus on getting ready for Jan. 11 (in San Jose)," he said.
Last Tuesday, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman upheld Thornton's punishment for his actions in a game against Pittsburgh earlier this month. Thornton and the NHL Players' Association had seven days to appeal to a neutral arbitrator.
Thornton, who appealed the ban, was suspended for punching and injuring an unsuspecting opponent in a game at Boston on Dec. 7. He slew-footed Penguins defenceman Brooks Orpik to the ice and landed gloved punches to his head. Orpik was knocked unconscious and suffered a concussion.
Bettman heard Thornton's appeal at a hearing in New York on Dec. 20.