Morgan Rielly on ice
Photo credit: NHLPA

Insider reveals why Morgan Rielly's suspension was only 5 games

Published February 24, 2024 at 3:08 PM

So much was made when Toronto Maple Leafs defender Morgan Rielly was suspended 5 games for his cross-check on Ottawa Senators forward Ridly Greig. Some fans believe 5 games was excessive for a first time offender, while others believe the suspension wasn't long enough, first time offender or not. However they may be a very strategic reason Rielly's suspension was capped at 5 games.

According to the 32 Thoughts Podcast, part of the reason the suspension was 5 games was actually to discourage teams and player from further appeals while also taking the ability to appeal to an independent adjudicator off the board entirely; take a look.


If the suspension went past 5 games, the Leafs would've been able to take their appeal beyond Gary Bettman himself. By only suspending 5 games, the appeal stays in house.

This way Bettman backs head of Player Safety George Parros and discourages any future appeals by players who believe their punishment isn't exactly fair.

If you think about it, it's a smart move by Bettman for more than one reason. It's slimy for sure, but it's also a show of power to everyone around the league.
February 24   |   151 answers
Insider reveals why Morgan Rielly's suspension was only 5 games

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