The Toronto Maple Leafs might be without defenceman Morgan Rielly for an extended period.
The 29-year-old will have an in-person hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety after he cross-checked Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig in the head following an empty-net goal.
An in-person hearing opens up the possibility that Rielly could be suspended for six or more games. The exact date and time of the hearing has not been decided.
Toronto’s Morgan Rielly has been offered an in-person hearing for cross-checking Ottawa’s Ridly Greig. Date and time TBD.
— NHL Player Safety (@NHLPlayerSafety) February 11, 2024
This is only the second in-person hearing to be offered by the NHL this season, with the only other being for Detroit Red Wings forward David Perron for a similar cross-check to the head of Senators defenceman Artem Zub.
The play that Rielly is potentially facing suspension for has divided fans on social media. It came right after Greig opted to take a thunderous slapshot at an empty net while on the breakaway. While plenty of fans took issue with how Rielly responded, others thought Greig got what he deserved after disrespecting the Leafs.
Ridly Greig buries the empty-netter with a slapshot and Morgan Rielly takes exception 😳 pic.twitter.com/6NISK4AMSt
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) February 11, 2024
A suspension of six games would have Rielly out of the Leafs’ lineup until February 24. This could be the first type of supplemental punishment that the veteran defender has ever received, having no prior history of any suspensions or fines in his 11-year NHL career.
Toronto is set to get back on the ice this Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues. A decision before that game is expected.
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