Major development in the Morgan Rielly suspension appeal

Dean Chaudhry
February 17, 2024  (10:23)

Leafs defender Morgan Rielly
Photo credit: Yahoo Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs were not happy with the 5-game suspension ruling handed to Morgan Rielly and, as it turns out, the appeal that was sent to commissioner Gary Bettman seems to have a lot to do with Brendan Shanahan and the front office trying to figure out where the Department of Player Safety got the 5 games from.

On The Leafs Nation's "Leafs Morning Take" podcast, Anthony Stewart appeared as a guest and talked about what he has heard through the grapevine and it seems like the front office is mirroring the fanbase's frustrations:
"I think it was Shanahan that requested an in-person hearing because he wanted to go in there and read the riot act back to the league... because they've been sort of on the receiving end of some of these suspensions where it's like, when it comes to Toronto, they're tacking on a couple games to send a message... that's what I've heard, I'm not sure, I'm not going to be an insider...."

Stewart then continued by talking about how the play itself wasn't the greatest, but it didn't deserve such a lengthy suspension. It was a retaliatory play, yes, but no one got injured, and most importantly, there have been far worse plays that have either gone unsuspended or were handed a far lesser punishment:
"Is this one of the worst suspensions, most egregious offences this year? I don't know if it's anywhere close, I can see them understanding like you know what we'll give you three or four games, we're talking about 5 plus, some people talking about throwing him out of the league... there was no injury. Yes it was a revenge play, but he had time to protect himself so yes, I'd rather him drop the gloves and punch him in the face but what if you knocked him out? We'd be talking about a whole different thing."

Rielly's appeal was going to be quite the show with Brad Treliving, Rielly's agent, J.P Barry, and the NHLPA lawyers being present because they really want to understand the reasoning behind the ban. Let's also remember that Shanahan has prior experience with suspensions from when he was the Senior Vice President of the NHL's Department of Player Safety before George Parros.
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Major development in the Morgan Rielly suspension appeal

Should the Leafs call for George Parros to be fired if Bettman reduces Rielly's suspension?

Yes, he's obviously incompetent125783.8 %
No, he still does a good job most of the time1097.3 %
I'm fine either way1348.9 %
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