Are the New York Rangers going to put Ryan Reaves on waivers?
I really didn’t think it was a possibility less than two weeks ago, but Ryan Reaves on the waiver wire could happen.
Head coach Gerard Gallant has scratched the veteran right wing in 6 of the New York Rangers last 7 games. And it looks like he won’t be playing again tomorrow against the Los Angeles Kings
“I’m a player’s type of coach,” Gallant said about Reaves after practice. “I’m not going to let a guy sit there and rot and not say something to them. That doesn’t happen.”
Reaves, 35, has been with Gallant for many years dating back to their time in Vegas. The coach is a big fan of the way he plays and wanted him in New York when he took the job last season.
“Reavo is a professional,” Gallant added. “I’m sure he’s not happy and he wants to play every game. It’s tough. It’s never easy but he’s a true pro and we love what he does for us.”
The hit song “All You Need is Love” was made famous by The Beatles, and that’s what Gallant and his teammates have for Reavo. Although, this time around it may not be enough.
Ryan Reaves continues to be scratched
The Blueshirts made a trade for Ryan Reaves from the Vegas Golden Knights in the summer of 2021 for a third round pick. He had one year left on his deal at the time, but GM Chris Drury opted to extend him for another season at $1.75 million.
Reaves played in 69 games on Broadway as the team marched to a second place finish in the Metro. He likely would’ve played more if not for a stint on the COVID list in January. During the team’s playoff run, he suited up for 18 of their 20 postseason contests.
Let’s face it, the extension that some questioned seemed like a real good move heading into the 2022-23 campaign. Now, with Reaves struggling to stay in the lineup there will be a reexamination of the signing.
The Rangers have another player up front that’s been sidelined they’d like to see in the lineup. Vitali Kravtsov, who has been often injured is healthy enough to get back in. Still, he’s having a hard time thanks to the play of two other right wings, Julien Gauthier and Jimmy Vesey.
“I have an idea, but i don’t know when it’s going to happen,” Gallant said on Monday about Kravtsov. “He’s had some unfortunate luck. Right now, I’ve liked the way our team is playing. It’s going to happen– he’s going to play. We want to give him every opportunity.”
So if the 22 year-old offensively gifted forward is having a hard time cracking the lineup, Reaves might be looking at this as if he’ll have to climb Mt. Everest.
Ryan Reaves on waivers?
Reaves is listed at 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds and is a physical presence every time he steps on the ice. That being said, he’s not known for being fleet of foot which isn’t getting better with age.
The team has gotten faster and Reaves looks like he’s struggling to keep up. This season, he has no points in his 12 contests with a -5 rating.
New York is also up against the salary cap and unable to make an emergency call up without placing someone on LTIR. Such move means a player must be out for at least 10 games or 24 days.
Larry Brooks of the NY Post has been writing for weeks that the team can’t continue to carry the max 23 man roster. They need to accrue cap space for a trade deadline move, such as acquiring Patrick Kane.
The Rangers are going to need to place someone on waivers soon, and it’s very likely to be Reaves. If he were to go unclaimed, just $1.125 million of his entire salary can be buried in the AHL. While that’s not ideal, it’s more than the $750,000 they’d get by sending down Ryan Carpenter.
Of course, this is a big risk since there are several teams out there that can easily absorb his full cap hit. The Anaheim Ducks, who are looking for someone to protect Trevor Zegras may be the team that makes the claim. Plus, former Rangers’ Ryan Strome and Frank Vatrano would surely put in the good word with GM Pat Verbeek to make the move.
In 767 career NHL games for the St. Louis Blues (2010-11 to 2016-17), Pittsburgh Penguins (2017-18), Vegas (2017-18 to 2020-21) and Rangers, Reaves has 54 goals, 60 assists and 992 penalty minutes.
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