Speaking to the Globe and Mail, the usually-reserved Thornton suggested that Chara's club, the Boston Bruins, tends to receive favourable treatment from the NHL when it comes to discipline matters.
"It's just something with Boston," Thornton told the Globe and Mail. "It just seems like they have a horseshoe. We've seen the [Milan] Lucic cross-check to the head [of Maxim Lapierre] earlier, and there's no disciplinary thing."
Thornton was once a member of the Bruins, after being drafted first overall by Boston in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. The Bruins traded Thornton to San Jose in 2005.
"It's just something about Boston and the disciplinary [process] is on their side. I'm not sure why that is. I'm not assuming that Colin [Campbell]'s kid is on the team and that's why, but it's really bizarre."
Campbell, the NHL's vice-president of hockey operations, was not involved in reviewing the Chara hit because of the conflict of interest the case presents since his son Gregory plays for the Bruins. The case was handled instead by NHL senior vice-president of hockey operations Mike Murphy, who decided that no further discipline would be assessed to Chara on the Pacioretty hit.