Insiders slam NHL Player Safety over Morgan Rielly hearing.

Insiders slam NHL Player Safety over Morgan Rielly hearing.

Two NHL insiders critical of the league's decision to offer Rielly an in person hearing.

Jonathan Larivee

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly will have an in person hearing with the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety on Tuesday for a cross-check he delivered to Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig, a type of hearing that is only offered when the league wants the option to suspend a player for 6 or more games.

There has been a ton of debate over the weekend regarding whether or not this is the correct decision on the part of the disciplinary arm of the NHL, and now a pair of highly respected NHL insiders are chiming in as well.

Elliotte Friedman recently revealed that he was surprised by the decision from the league to utilize such a harsh measure against Rielly. 

"I was surprised it was the potential of an in person, I really was," admitted Friedman on the 32 Thoughts podcast. "My bottom line opinion is, if I was a player on the ice playing for another team when a player scored an empty goal like that I would be furious."

The insider does believe that Rielly's actions warrant a suspension, but simply feels that the length of suspension suggested by an in-person hearing is too harsh a penalty.

"I still thought that Rielly crossed the line and he deserved a suspension," said Friedman. "I just don't think it should be a 6 game suspension."

Friedman's argument is centered around the fact that Rielly did not directly target Ridly's head and neck area with his stick, but rather that the stick altered its course as a result of making contact with Ridly's body. A second angle of the incident does show this to clearly be the case, although how much you weigh that particular factor will depend on your own sensibilities.

Some might be quick to point to a bias from the Toronto based insider, but Friedman was far from alone in his criticisms of the Department of Player Safety. NHL insider Larry Brooks had something of his own to add to the conversation and was far more critical of the decision to offer Rielly an in-person hearing than Friedman.

"This is what Parros and his handlers believe merits an in-person hearing?" asked Brooks. "These guys are hopeless."

It is a decision that has sparked a ton of debate around the National Hockey League, a debate that isn't likely to end anytime soon with the decision regarding Rielly's fate just a day away.