2 Wrongs Make a Right for Morgan Rielly and the Toronto Maple Leafs

Morgan Rielly Suspension Upheld

2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One
2023 Upper Deck NHL Draft - Round One / Bruce Bennett/GettyImages
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On February 10, the Toronto Maple Leafs were defeated by the basement dwelling Ottawa Senators 5-3 which came with an exclamation point when Ridly Greig blasted an empty net slapshot to secure the victory.

In response, the heart and soul of the Toronto Maple Leafs Morgan Rielly chased down Greig and fed him with a cross check that glanced of his glove and into his head.

The face of the NHL Department of Player Safety George Parros deemed the incident so severe it required an in-person hearing with Rielly, which meant a suspension of at least five games could be the result.

After the hearing, Parros came to the conclusion that what Rielly had done was the second worst thing the league has seen during the 2023-24 season and handed down a five game suspension.

There is no doubt that would Rielly did was wrong and crossed the lines of what is acceptable in hockey and in sport, but to claim this was the second worst incident that has happened in the NHL this season is also wrong.

Due to the the severe punishment, the NHLPA, along with the Toronto Maple Leafs requested an appeal with the league's commissioner.

The whole appeal process was flawed from the beginning as it took Gary Bettman days to schedule the meeting where two games of the suspension had already passed before the appeal took place last Friday. Two more games of the suspension were played before Bettman finally came down with his decision which came on Tuesday afternoon.

Bettman came to the ruling that two wrongs (the incident and the original banning) make a right and the suspension was upheld.

Shanahan and Treliving Are Train Wrecks

What is more concerning about the results is that Sportsnet reported that president Brendan Shanahan and general manager Brad Treliving tried to base their justification that the suspension should be reduced was because what Greig did was wrong.

Sportsnet stated [Bettman said much of the testimony offered by Rielly, Toronto GM Brad Treliving and president Brendan Shanahan concerned whether Greig's slapshot was provocative but called that discussion "utterly irrelevant."]

If this was the entire basis for their argument, I have to agree with Bettman; and what it shows is how inept Shanahan and Treliving are at their jobs.

What Maple Leafs management should have done going into the appeal was show precedent in previous offences. Bring a track history of comparable suspensions and argue that Rielly should have received a similar punishment, not say Greig hurt our feelings now reduce the suspension.

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This recent suspension just stock piles the disaster that is the Shanahan/Treliving show.