Morgan Rielly Faces In-Person Hearing for Cross-Checking Incident

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety has offered Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly an in-person hearing for cross-checking Senators center Ridly Greig, potentially leading to a suspension exceeding five games, impacting Toronto’s defense as they aim for playoff positioning.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety dropped a bomb Sunday. They’ve called up Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly for a chat. An in-person one, at that. This is about that moment in Saturday’s game when he cross-checked Senators center Ridly Greig. Yeah, right after Greig nailed an empty-netter, making it 5-3 for Ottawa. And, oh, it was in the dying seconds of the game. Talk about drama.

So, with this in-person hearing on the table, things could get serious for Rielly. We’re talking a potential suspension that could go beyond five games. Imagine that. The incident? Pretty intense. Greig was just celebrating his goal with a slap shot. That’s when Rielly came up and, bam, cross-checked him right in the face. Greig hit the ice hard. And Rielly? He got slapped with a match penalty.

Rielly’s been on fire lately, racking up five points in his last four games. But now, he might be sitting out for a while. And get this – in his entire 11-year, 769-game career, he’s never been fined or suspended. Not even once.

Now, Rielly isn’t just any player for Toronto. He’s the longest-tenured guy on the squad. Plus, he’s a key playmaker, sitting second in assists (36) and fourth in points (43) through 50 games. And he’s been on the ice more than ever before, averaging a career-high 24:21 per game.

But here’s the kicker. If Rielly’s out for a long haul, the Maple Leafs’ defense is in trouble. Big trouble. Especially now, as they’re pushing hard for a good spot in the playoffs. And with right-shot defenseman Conor Timmins out sick after only 16 games, things are looking grim. Not to mention, Mark Giordano is also on the injured list.

So, what’s the plan if Rielly can’t face the Blues on Tuesday? Looks like Maxime Lajoie might step up. And Timothy Liljegren? He could be taking over the top spot on the power play. Talk about a shake-up.

Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson
Alex Thompson is a Senior Writer for HockeyMonitor. With a background in Sports Media, Alex joined the team in 2022. He focuses on providing the latest hockey news, game scores, and fresh NHL trade rumors.

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