Sheldon Keefe had some choice words for the Department of Player Safety
Photo credit: NHL

Sheldon Keefe calls out Department of Player Safety

Published February 12, 2024 at 8:26 PM
BY RYAN SMITHERAM
As the Toronto Maple Leafs prepare for life without Morgan Rielly, for at least tomorrow night's game and probably longer, the team took to the ice for practice on Monday. Following an off-day on Sunday, it was the media's first chance to ask the team about the events that transpired at the end of Saturday's loss to the Ottawa Senators after having a day to allow the dust to settle. Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe was very candid following the loss Saturday and followed up his post-game comments with some interesting comments about the Department of Player Safety.

"I was surprised," said Keefe after practice today about Rielly's in-person hearing. "We spend a lot of time watching pretty much every cross-check that's happened in the last number of years, and the ones that I thought were similar in nature to Morgan's were nothing close to requiring [an in-person hearing]. But at the same time, there's a history of events that happened in Toronto, and with the Leafs, they get more attention, more hype. That tends to lead to something such as this. So, to that end, not surprised. It's out of our hands and we'll get ready to play tomorrow."

In a subtle way, this felt like Keefe calling out the Department of Player Safety, but doing so in such a way that wouldn't land him in hot water and facing a fine from the league. The Department of Player Safety really does need to be more consistent in their rulings and Keefe seems to be onto something with his comments about things being amplified because Toronto is the biggest market in the NHL .

We saw an unfair suspension just a couple of seasons ago when Jason Spezza went to hit Winnipeg Jets defenseman Neal Pionk and ended up getting six games because he hit him in the head as he was falling. Yes, Spezza had intended to run him, but for a first time offender, six games felt a little much.


With Reilly scheduled to meet with the DOPS tomorrow afternoon in New York, it will be interesting to see if George Parros once again throws the book at a Maple Leaf while others who have done the same or worse have gotten far less.

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12 February   |   950 answers
Sheldon Keefe calls out Department of Player Safety

Is the Department of Player Safety biased against the Leafs?

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