Gary Bettman
Photo credit: Mike Stobe

Insider Reveals Why Gary Bettman Wanted to Heavily Punish the Leafs

Published February 16, 2024 at 1:19 PM
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The controversy around the Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly's five-game suspension for cross-checking Ottawa Senators' Ridly Greig in the head has made every headline in the sport. This incident happened in the last secondes of an already determined game.


Dreger's input on the Suspension Length

Insider Darren Dreger suggested that a few people in the league believed a suspension lasting 2-3 games would be sufficient. Yet, the considerable focus from both the media and the public might have pushed the NHL to impose a stricter five-game suspension. This decision aims to avoid any impression that they are overly lenient, especially when it involves a well-known team like the Maple Leafs.



The Appeal

Rielly is now challenging the suspension, a move that brings Commissioner Gary Bettman into the equation, who is recognized for maintaining such rulings this season.
It turns out the NHL's Department of Player Safety won't have the final say on what Morgan Rielly's punishment will be for his crosscheck on Ridly Greig. It was announced that Rielly will be appealing the 5-game suspension

The Maple Leafs Coach Sheldon Keefe has described the incident as appropriate and disagree with the Department of Player Safety position.


Public and Media Influence

This event highlights the NHL's challenge in maintaining disciplinary consistency, the role of media in influencing decisions, and the fine line between aggression and wrongdoing in hockey. The appeal's outcome is eagerly awaited, as it will significantly influence how the sport is regulated and the standards of player behavior.


As seen on the Toronto Sun
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Insider Reveals Why Gary Bettman Wanted to Heavily Punish the Leafs

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