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Morgan Rielly offered in-person hearing for cross-check on Senators’ Ridly Greig

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Alex Hobson
14 days ago
The worst-kept secret in the NHL for the past 12 hours has just come to light. 
Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly will officially be offered an in-person hearing for his cross-check on Ottawa Senators’ forward Ridly Greig on Saturday night. The incident came in the dying seconds of the Leafs’ 5-3 loss to Ottawa and has been a hot topic of discussion on social media in the hours following the game. 
Rielly was retaliating after Greig wound up and took a slap shot to ice the game for the Senators, a move clearly seen as disrespectful by him and the rest of the Leafs’ bench. While Greig went down in a heap, he was able to get up and skate off the ice on his own accord. 
https://twitter.com/Sportsnet/status/1756508755561181642/video/1
The clear intent behind the cross-check and the point of contact shouldn’t make this level of punishment surprising. Still, seeing as New York Rangers defenceman Jacob Trouba two-handed Boston Bruins forward Trent Frederic in the face using the same weapon with the same intent, it’s hard to say where the NHL draws the line for similar infractions. 
Either way, the Leafs are going to have to face some extra adversity in a season that’s already been full of it so far. An in-person hearing opens up the option for suspensions that are six games or longer, and while it’s not guaranteed, it seems more likely than not that Rielly will be sidelined for at least six. 
Their defensive corps has already been struggling this year, turning to the services of players like Simon Benoit to fill holes in the top four while seeing regression from players like T.J. Brodie and Mark Giordano and a lack of improvement from Timothy Liljegren. 
The Leafs will likely learn of the gravity of Rielly’s suspension before their next game when they host the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

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