While watching the Penguins-Bruins hockey game on Saturday night and witnessing the horrible attack of Shawn Thornton on Brooks Orpik I could not help but think that if that incident had occurred outside the confines of a hockey rink the perpetrator could have been charged with assault and battery.
The legal definition: An assault is an attempt or threat to injure another person, while a battery would be actually contacting another person in a harmful or offensive manner. An assault is any unlawful attempt or offer with force or violence to do bodily harm to another, whether from ill will or extreme carelessness, or with other circumstances that evidence an intention, coupled with a present ability, of actual violence against the person. When the injury is actually inflicted, it amounts to a battery. Assault and battery is the combination of the crimes of threat (assault) and actual beating (battery).
Is that not what happened in Boston?
It saddens me when such a wonderful sport deteriorates into the thuggery that occurred at TD Garden. I wonder if someone will actually have to die for the NHL to change its stance on the fighting in hockey.