Morgan Rielly awaits an in-person hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety after his cross-check on Ottawa forward Ridly Greig.
But he has the support of teammates, especially the infamous tough guy Ryan Reaves.
On Monday, a few days after Rielly went after Greig, who took a slap shot into an empty net, Reaves finally spoke out about the incident and the disciplinary measures that were coming for Rielly.
And he had nothing but good things to say about his teammate’s actions.
”If you rewind to when I came into the league he’s probably still laying on the ice. I thought it was appropriate,” Reaves said. ”I don’t see how a kid that young thinks it’s appropriate to do something like that. I thought ‘Good on Mo.’ Hopefully it’s not too harsh on him and I don’t think it should be.”
With an in-person hearing for Rielly, he’ll probably face a suspension of six games or more. It doesn’t guarantee it, but it’s rare to see another outcome.
”It’s unfortunate that a young kid like that can get away with something like that, and then one of our best players is going to get suspended for it,” Reaves said.
”Make hockey violent again – get that tattooed on me,” he added.
But Reaves didn’t get much love for his quotes about making hockey tough again.
Reaves has had a disappointing season with the Maple Leafs, and fans absolutely slammed him for his statements about what would’ve happened with Greig when he came into the league.
”Reaves has pivoted from ‘if I were there, XYZ would’ve happened’ to ‘if it were 10 years ago, XYZ would’ve happened’ because, to the surprise of many, being super tough and scary while stapled to the bench for 90% of the game has no deterrent effect,” one fan blasted on social media.
”Reaves is acting like he played in the NHL pre 04 lockout or earlier. Buddy you entered the league in 2010, don’t act so tough,” another said.
”Reaves making it sound like he used to fight Probert and Kocur one night, then Ewen and Twist the next night, then McRae and Churla the one after,” a third added.