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Toronto Maple Leafs Defenceman Suspended

The Toronto Maple Leafs will have to deal with a hole in their lineup. The NHL Department of Player Safety has suspended defenceman Morgan Rielly for five games. News of the Morgan Rielly suspension came down on Tuesday.

 

Morgan Rielly Gets Suspension

Rielly got suspended for cross-checking Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig late in the third period. This was after Greig scored an empty-net goal with six seconds left in third period. Greig had fired a slap-shot into the empty net to seal a 5-3 victory for Ottawa. Rielly took offence at Greig’s actions at hit the Senators forward from behind.

The Leafs blueliner was given a major penalty for cross-checking and a game misconduct. Rielly was offered an in-person hearing for his actions. This means a suspension of five games or more. However, if the infraction might require a suspension of six games or more, the offending player is offered the opportunity to an in-person hearing. In this case, the player remains suspended until the hearing takes place. If the player waives his right to an in-person hearing, the hearing will be conducted by phone.

Reilly has seven goals and 36 assists for 43 points in 50 games. Toronto drafted the Vancouver native in the first round, fifth overall of the 2012 NHL Draft.

What it Means

The Leafs lose a key piece to their blueliner with the Morgan Rielly suspension. Toronto is fighting for playoff position. However, losing the veteran defender puts a hole in the lineup.

Some may think Rielly was right to give Greig a receipt. However, it leaves Toronto short-handed for a handful of games. Greig’s shot might have been excessive according to some, but a veteran like Rielly maybe should have thought better of it.

Toronto is fourth in the Atlantic Division, but the Detroit Red Wings have the same amount of points. Losing Rielly is a big blow, but the Leafs will have to manage for a few games.

Main photo by: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

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