Earlier today Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe was asked for his opinion on the pending suspension we expect to be coming from the NHL for defenseman Morgan Rielly and Keefe did not hold back.
Rielly, of course, has been offered an in-person hearing with NHL Player Safety to explain his actions late in Saturday's loss to the Ottawa Senators. Rielly absolutely railroaded Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig after Greig fired a slap shot into the Leafs' empty net.
Here's the entire sequence:
Because Rielly was offered the opportunity to defend himself in person, he's eligible to receive a suspension higher than five games. Typically, the NHL deals with supplemental discipline via phone hearings, but only in cases where the sentence is expected to be fewer than five games or merely a financial penalty.
Suffice it to say, there's no shortage of opinions amongst hockey fans what a proper punishment is for Rielly. Some fans claim that what he did she be perfectly legal. After all, the argument goes, Greig clearly broke the code of good sportsmanship on his goal. Other fans though claim that what Rielly did is unacceptable and that he should face a very stiff penalty.
Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe thinks it's all just a media creation and that if the media hadn't made such a big deal about things then Rielly wouldn't even get a meeting in the first place!
Check it out:
I don't know, Coach...
Cross checking someone in the head, after the whistle, in the final seconds of a losing effort...
I think that's going to get a hearing no matter what jersey you happen to be wearing. In nothing else though, this is an interesting strategy from Keefe to get the pressure off himself and his team as they struggle a bit here.
Read below for our earlier report on this story and Leafs forward Ryan Reaves' reaction.
The suspension that is looming for Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly has been a hot topic of conversation all weekend long and it seems like it will very much continue into the week as we continue to await a decision from the National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety.
The latest comes to us courtesy of Rielly's teammate, Maple Leafs enforcer Ryan Reaves, after Reaves made some pretty spicy comments about the whole situation on Monday. Reaves, much like Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe had done earlier, threw his full support behind his teammate and even had a few choice words for Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig as well.
"Kids these days, they’re playing a different brand of hockey than I’m used to," said Reaves. "The code’s changed a little bit. The game’s changed a lot and it’s unfortunate that a kid like that can get away with something like that and one of our best players is going to get suspended"
Reaves added that, when he entered the league, things would have been even worse for Greig.
"If you rewind to when I came into the league he's probably still laying on the ice," admitted Reaves. "I thought (Morgan Rielly's response) was appropriate. I don't see how a kid that young thinks it's appropriate to do something like that."
Reaves came right out and said it, calling this current generation of players simply too soft.
"Make hockey violent again, a tattoo I should get," said Reaves.