I must disagree in that for a long time there absolutely was an established, albeit unwritten, code. It died when the instigator rule came in. Sure, back in the guy some guys were playing on the edge or over it, but they knew they would have to answer the bell for it later on. That doesn't happen anymore. That coupled with the increase in equipment protection has led to complete disrespect amongst a lot of the players.
Thornton also knows he'll have to answer it some day. He's not Matt Cooke. He's an enforcer who fights a lot and he knows he'll fight the Pens top fighters the next time they meet. He just went over the line like guys like Probert, Odjick and Brown would do on occasions.
The only thing that has changed over the years, is disrespect from players on high hits and hits from behind. That I will agree with. But an incident like this from a scrum is something that's always occured from time to time.
Edited by GMRwings1983, 07 December 2013 - 09:56 PM.