Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Reilly to have in-person hearing for late cross-check

By Sportsnet Staff

Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly has been offered an in-person hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety after receiving a five-minute major and game misconduct for his actions in the final seconds of Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators.

With 5.1 seconds remaining in the game Senators forward Ridly Greig fired a slap shot into the Maple Leafs’ empty net to seal a 5-3 win. Rielly took exception to the play, going after Greig and cross-checking him in the head. After a scrum between the two sides was calmed down, referees reviewed the play and confirmed the major and misconduct.

“Just stupid thing to do there by their guy at the end,” said Maple Leafs goaltender Martin Jones after the game, referring to Greig’s empty netter.

Asked about Rielly’s reaction, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said he thought it was “appropriate.”

“Their player has the right to do what he wants in that moment and our players have the right to react, you know, it’s the emotions of the game,” Keefe added.

Both Keefe and Senators head coach Jacques Martin stated that they expect the league to review the incident.

A time and date for the hearing have not been announced but Toronto doesn’t play again until Tuesday. The in-person option affords the league the possibility of suspending Rielly for six games or more.

“It’s not a hockey play,” said Martin of Rielly’s response. “It’s frustration or something, but it’s not part of the game. (Greig) put the puck in the net. Whether he pushes it, or shoots it, it shouldn’t matter.”

“Rid’s play was pretty funny,” Senators forward Shane Pinto shared while laughing. “So, yeah, that was pretty interesting at the end.”

Rielly, 29, has 43 points (seven goals and 36 assists) in 50 games this season. He has not yet been suspended in his 11-year NHL career.

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