The NHL Department of Player Safety announced that Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman Morgan Rielly will not suspended for using inappropriate language at an official. It would have been his first career suspension.
— Hockey Night in Canada (@hockeynight) March 12, 2019
Morgan Rielly Not Suspended
National Hockey League officials investigated an incident where Rielly was alleged to use a slur at an official. The Maple Leafs were on the man advantage against the Tampa Bay Lightning with 1:51 left in the second period. The puck was lifted out of the Lightning zone and as Rielly skated by.
So far this season, he scored 18 goals and 47 assists for 65 points. He also added 12 minutes in penalties. His possession numbers were 50.5 percent Corsi and a relative Corsi of -0.6.
Over his 6-year NHL career, Rielly has only played for the Maple Leafs. He has put up 49 goals and 187 assists for 236 career points in 456 career games. Toronto originally drafted him in the first round, fifth overall of the 2012 NHL Draft.
“Following a thorough investigation, the National Hockey League has determined that Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly did not direct a homophobic slur at referee Brad Meier during last night’s game with the Tampa Bay Lightning at Scotiabank Arena,” Colin Campbell, the NHL Senior VP of Hockey Operations said in a statement released on Tuesday. “League officials interviewed several of the participants in the game – including Rielly and Meier – and reviewed audio of the alleged incident. All of those interviewed adamantly denied that Rielly uttered a slut and the audio supported their statements.”
What This Means for the Future
The Leafs dodge a bullet as they try to continue their fantastic season. Toronto was already thin at defense and losing Rielly would have hurt.
He is also a dark horse for the Norris Trophy. His reputation would have taken a hit as well after his slip up. Rielly is a part of the You Can Play campaign.
Toronto’s next game is on Wednesday against the Chicago Blackhawks.
TORONTO, ON – DECEMBER 17: Morgan Rielly #44 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates an overtime winning goal by teammate Jake Gardiner #51 (not shown) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on December 17, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Penguins 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)