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NHL offers Maple Leafs' Morgan Rielly in-person hearing - ESPN

Toronto Maple Leafs All-Star defenseman Morgan Rielly on Sunday was offered an in-person hearing with NHL Player Safety following his cross-check on Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig on Saturday night.

The incident occurred Saturday with 5.1 seconds remaining in Ottawa's 5-3 win. After Greig took advantage of an empty net and whistled a slapshot from just beyond the crease to ice the game, Rielly took offense the emphatic style of shot, sending Greig into the boards with a high hit. Rielly was assessed a major penalty for cross-checking and a game misconduct.

Typically, with empty-net goals — a sign the game's outcome has been decided — the scoring team simply pushes or slides the puck into the net, perhaps even trying a wrist shot, so as not to show up the losing opponent. Very rarely do they wind up with a slap shot, especially so close to the crease.

«We obviously didn't like the result on the empty netter,» Toronto captain John Tavares said after the loss. «So, we're going to stick together and stand our ground when necessary.»

Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe concurred with his captain.

«I thought it was appropriate,» Toronto coach Sheldon Keefe said after the loss, when asked his thoughts on Rielly's decision. «I'm sure (the league) will look at it, yeah.»

That indeed happened on Sunday, and the nature of the decision indicates a lengthier suspension than most. A player is offered an in-person hearing, in fact, 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 incident, Keefe sent out enforcer Ryan Reaves for the final faceoff, and a potential ensuing retaliation, but