Rielly Hit: Bring The Law Into The Rink


All the talk on X Sunday was not about the Senators defeating the Leafs Saturday night but the stick that Morgan Rielly laid on Ridly Greig’s head.

The Leaf defenceman pounded Greig with his stick after the Senators forward showboated scoring an empty-net goal with seconds left in the game. No matter what Greig did, there’s no place in society, let alone hockey, to deliberately injure someone. We’ve learned over the years the consequences for hockey players from repeated hits to the head.

And for Leaf coach Sheldon Keefe to call the hit “appropriate” in unconscionable. How would he like a stick in the head with intent to injure? The league should look at Keefe’s statement and rule accordingly. His words were inappropriate.


Morgan Rielly crosscheck on Ridly Greig - Have your say!

The hit.


If that incident occurred outside a hockey rink, the perpetrator would be charged. Maybe we should apply those rules inside the rink as well.

Rielly would be in trouble when he got home. Wife and ice dancer Tessa Virtue was a sportswoman of a much higher calibre than her husband. And she was a tough competitor. Certainly tougher than most Leafs in the corner.

The act was also cowardly. Rielly cheap-shotted Greig in the last few seconds of the last game these two teams will play against each other this season. Tough to exact revenge in that situation.

Rielly will get suspended a few games for his disgusting act. But worse than that, Rielly will be wondering all summer what kind of price he will pay when the Sens and Leafs meet again next season. It’s unlikely to be pretty.

And that’s the thing. If the league and the law won’t deal with this seriously, the players conduct a bit of vigilante violence.

In a real sport, Rielly would be suspended for life for that kind of action. But not hockey. Which speaks volumes about hockey.

Ken Gray


Sheldon Keefe post-game Reaction on Rielly vs. Greig #torontomapleleafs #nhl #ottawasenators #leafs

Sheldon Keefe: Hockey culture at its worst.


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7 Responses

  1. C from Kanata says:

    Nah, next time we will just call by-law for all those Toronto fans stuck in the CTC parking lot idling their cars!

  2. Ken Gray says:

    good one k

  3. sisco.farraro says:

    Ken. In sports, emotions run high whether you’re on the winning or the losing side. And most of us have never competed at the professional or Olympic level in our most beloved pastime. After the last game of the most recent world cup of soccer (won by Argentina over France (contrary to popular myth, I do remember the losing team)), the goalie for Argentina placed the World Cup in front of his privates and laughed. While most people probably didn’t think much of this gesture, it was clear that, when the camera panned to him, the emir of Qatar was not amused. You comment concerning Sheldon Keefe is what interests me most. As you’re aware, part of the role of a coach/manager of any professional team is to meet with the press after a game. The press should be aware that coaches and players usually don’t have time to reflect on the game that has just ended before microphones are thrust in their faces. As a part of their training, someone should remind interviewers of the old adage “If you ask a stupid question, you can probably expect . . . . .”

  4. Ken Gray says:


    Where I come from there’s no reason to hit someone in the face with a two-handed crosscheck in full force.

    And the coach, in a leadership position, should not condone that.

    And the league should suspend him for a long time. I would prefer for life but that won’t happen.

    That’s assault and very dangerous assault.



  5. Ron Benn says:

    Hockey has too many “codes”. Code being a term used by pundits to explain anti-social behaviour. Behaviour that, if it takes place away from the ice surface, is unacceptable. But if it takes place on the ice, well … boys will be boys. It is time for the Cro-Magnons to take a seat in the history books. And for the record, I played a lot of hockey in years gone by, and coached one of my sons for many years. In short, I enjoy the game, not the anti-social antics.

    It is reported that Mr. Reilly has been offered (as if he has any choice in declining) a hearing with Player Safety. This is another “code”, meaning that he can expect a suspension, without pay, for at least five games.

    With a cap hit of $7.5 million, but a salary for the year of $10 million, perhaps Mr. Reilly will hear from his “far superior half” Ms. Virtue (and isn’t that an ironically contrasting name) about the forgone more than half a million dollars in pre-tax dollars that would have graced their retirement account. As for what his team mates think about how his rash response to another embarrassing loss to the Senators will impact their post season seeding, well no doubt we will hear all sorts of rhetoric, the result of hours of media training.

  6. Kosmo says:

    The NHL (National HYPOCRITE League) has a very big problem with safety.

    The NHL keeps emphasizing player safety is their number one priority when truthfully player safety is just a talking point to show how much they care… or don’t care.

    Let’s look at checks to the head, in the rule book it’s illegal but after every check to the head the league looks at over a dozen camera angles looking for an infraction. Was it an elbow to the head? Was it a shoulder to the head? Or was it a head to head contact? Who cares player safety should be NO check to the head period.

    Player safety involving helmets is a bit… a lot confusing, when a player’s helmet falls off his head he must put it back on immediately or leave the ice. BUT if two players square off at center ice rip each others helmet off to fight and repeatedly punch each other in the head,,, that’s OK. So a cross check to Ridley Greig’s head is just another day at the office, where the players have to respect for each other and the league has no safety concerns for the players.

  7. sisco says:

    Interesting point, Kosmo. It immediately brought to mind what happens when police officers are brought before the internal investigations unit for questionable (mis)conduct. In most cases that come to mind, the charge against the police officer is dismissed, not only in the USA, but in Canada/Ottawa too. It seems that what happens on the ice is merely a reflection of what takes places in “real life”.

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