Rielly's hearing to be held virtually due to NYC storm
Rielly was offered and accepted an in-person hearing on Sunday and is eligible to be suspended for more than five games.
The hearing comes in response to an incident that occurred near the end of the third period of Saturday’s contest between the Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators as Ridly Greig took an uncontested slapshot into an empty Leafs' net to cement a 5-3 victory.
Rielly took exception to Greig's shot and cross-checked him into the boards, sparking a melee.
“I thought it was appropriate,” Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said on the matter following the game, later adding “Our players have the right to react.”
On Monday, Rielly got more support from his teammates as they brace for the verdict on his suspension.
"If you rewind to when I came into the league, he’s probably still laying on the ice," veteran Ryan Reaves said of Greig on Monday. "I thought [Rielly’s response] was appropriate. I don’t see how a kid that young thinks it’s appropriate to do something like that."
"I was expecting a fine. A one-game max," Reaves added. "The kid [Greig] got up after he saw no one was on top of him anymore completely fine and I think that’s got to be taken into account too"
Auston Matthews echoed his support for Rielly as well.
"I think it definitely deserved a reaction," Matthews said Monday. "Morgan's not a malicious player and somebody that's dirty by any means.
"Him [Rielly] approaching him [Greig] was something that was bound to happen, somebody was going to do it, especially after a play like that. I just don't think it's necessary to [have] a hardest shot competition into the net."
Two days removed from his postgame comments, Keefe suggested that the logo on the front of the sweater may have been a reason Rielly received an in-person hearing offer.
"I think there’s a history also of events that happen in Toronto and with the Leafs that get more attention and more hype that tend to lead to something such as this," Keefe said. "To that end, not surprised."
Rielly has never been suspended in his 11-season NHL career and leads Maple Leaf defencemen with seven goals and 43 points in 50 games. The 29-year-old from Vancouver also leads the Maple Leafs in average ice time at 24:21. TJ Brodie is second on the team in average ice time, well behind Rielly at 21:44 per game.
The Maple Leafs welcome the St. Louis Blues to Scotiabank Arena Tuesday night for the first of a three-game home stand before hitting the road for four games.