While Jeff Gorton was surprised the Tom Wilson situation blew up like it did last season, the Rangers took steps to at least have a response for the Capitals bully.
This offseason, the Blueshirts went out and acquired Ryan Reaves from the Vegas Golden Knights. A man who once said, “I’m the solution to your Tom Wilson problem.”
Ryan Reaves excited for new rivalries
“I love the rivalries, I’m leaving one here with San Jose and going down to the east with Washington and I’m sure there will be some heated battles with the Islanders too,” Reaves told Fox5 Vegas. “It’s going to be fun, those are the kinds of games that I love.”
The Rangers extended the 6-2, 225 lbs enforcer soon after the trade with an additional year at $1.75 million. He’s a player the organization has been interested in for years and made sure to acquire him this summer.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Chris Drury heard Reaves’ comments to the whole Wilson situation with Panarin and put him on the priority list.
“If that happens and he doesn’t get kicked out of that game I can promise you we’re fighting three times,” he said on the John Scott podcast. “And if he does get kicked out, I promise you we’re fighting three times or I’m jumping you. Take your pick – defend yourself or let’s just get it over with.”
Reaves excited to be back with Gerard Gallant in New York
When Reaves finally gets to camp from Vegas, he will be joining his old bench boss in Gerard Gallant, who is affectionately known as Turk.
“I’m excited to play for him, arguably my best two seasons was under Turk, I think he’s a guy who understands my role pretty well, not to say Pete (DeBoer) doesn’t, but I think Turk understands my role and he likes to use me in different situations and he gives me the confidence to go out and play my game,” Reaves explained. “I grew a lot as a player when he was here and it allowed my four years in Vegas to be the best four years of my career arguably.”
Reaves is also extremely excited to go where he is wanted, and that was evident from the moment the Rangers traded for him. He posted on his Instagram account a long goodbye to Vegas but ended with a boisterous, “New York what’s good baby! LET’S GO!”
Reaves happy to be wanted
The 34 year-old posted the lowest goal total of his 11-year NHL career last season, but the Blueshirts didn’t get him for his offense.
“Hockey is a business that there are emotions attached to it,” he began. “The first [trade] was hard leaving St. Louis. Pittsburgh was a little easier because I was there for six months, but leaving [Vegas] is hard, but I think it’s still easier than the first time. I’m excited to be wanted in New York, excited to get down there and play and I have no regrets what happened here in my four years here. I had a blast, the fans treated me really well, the team treated me really well so I have no regrets to what happened.”
Reaves logged just one goal and four assists while racking up 27 penalty minutes in 37 games during the 2020-21 regular season. In the playoffs, he had no goals and one assist in 12 games, missing two games after getting suspended for pulling out hair from the Colorado Avalanche’s Ryan Graves.
In 686 career NHL games for the St. Louis Blues (2010-11 to 2016-17), Pittsburgh Penguins (2017-18) and Vegas (2017-18 to 2020-21), Reaves has 49 goals, 52 assists and 937 penalty minutes.
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