Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly
Photo credit: Yahoo Sports

Hockey Night in Canada panel discusses the length of a potential Morgan Rielly suspension

Published February 11, 2024 at 11:37
BY MIKE ARMENTI
Last night, following Rildy Greig's shot heard 'round the world, unloading a full clapper on an empty Leafs net on the breakaway, we saw veteran defenseman Morgan Rielly take exception, charging at Greig full-bore, and getting the stick up into the shoulder and head with a violent cross-check that will almost certainly result in a suspension.


It's pretty clear in the replay that Rielly intends to deliver his shot to Greig's shoulder, but when Greig raises his arm up, it creates a bit of a ramping effect, sending Rielly's stick right into his head. Nevertheless, a player has to control his stick, and Rielly will likely pay the price for delivering the cross-check, regardless of whether or not there was any intent to strike Greig in the head.

Following the conclusion of the game, the Hockey Night in Canada panel, consisting of Ron MacLean, Jennifer Botterill, Kelly Hrudey and Kevin Bieksa, discussed the play at length. Bieksa was quick to point out that if Rielly hadn't gone after Greig, we'd be criticizing the Leafs for not responding to a classless, disrespectful play by Greig.



Botterill also felt that Greig's behaviour was unnecessary, but didn't really like the head contact on the follow-through of the cross-check. Kelly Hrudey told viewers that he can't see this one being less than 5 or 6 games. Both MacLean and Bieksa disagreed with Hrudey, suggesting that they could see Rielly landing closer to the 2-game suspension mark. Of course, we'll have to see where the Department of Player Safety lands on this. A phone hearing will mean less than 5 games, while an in-person hearing will open up the possibility of a 5 or more game suspension.
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Hockey Night in Canada panel discusses the length of a potential Morgan Rielly suspension

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