Leafs D Morgan Rielly offered in-person hearing after cross-check

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly has been offered an in-person hearing with NHL Player Safety following his cross-check on Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig.

The incident occurred Saturday with six seconds remaining in Ottawa’s 5-3 win over Toronto. After Greig took advantage of an empty net to score in the waning seconds, Rielly took offense, sending Greig into the boards. Rielly was assessed a major penalty for cross-checking and a game misconduct.

A player is offered an in-person hearing if he faces a suspension of at least six games. If he accepts the hearing, Rielly will be suspended until the hearing takes place. If he waives an in-person hearing, it will be held by phone.

After the game, the Maple Leafs supported Rielly, 29.

“I thought (Rielly’s actions were) appropriate,” Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “He’s reacting to a play. Their player has the right to react in that moment, and our players have the right to react. That’s the emotion of the game.”

Senators interim coach Jacques Martin disagreed.

“The league will look at it. That’s not a hockey play. That’s just frustration or something. It’s not part of the game.”

The Maple Leafs selected Rielly with the No. 5 overall pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, and he is in his 11th season in Toronto. He has never been suspended.

On the season, Rielly has seven goals and 36 assists. His 43 points are fourth on the team.

The Maple Leafs’ next game is Tuesday against the visiting St. Louis Blues.

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