Less than two weeks ago I really wouldn’t have thought this possible, but Ryan Reaves in the waiver could happen.
Head coach Gerard Gallant has scratched the experienced right wing in 6 of the New York Rangers’ last 7 games. And it looks like he won’t be playing the Los Angeles Kings tomorrow
“I’m the coaching type of a player,” Gallant said of Reaves after practice. “I’m not going to let a guy sit and rot and not tell them anything. That does not happen.”
Reaves, 35, has been with Gallant for many years dating back to her days in Vegas. The manager is a big fan of his style of play and wanted him in New York when he took the job last season.
“Reavo is a pro,” added Gallant. “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 professional and we love what he does for us.”
The hit “All You Need Is Love” was made famous by The Beatles, and that’s exactly what Gallant and his teammates did for Reavo. Although this time it may not be enough.
Ryan Reaves remains scratched
The Blueshirts traded Ryan Reaves from the Vegas Golden Knights for a third-round pick in summer 2021. He had a year left on his contract at the time, but GM Chris Drury decided to extend him for another season for $1.75 million.
Reaves acted in 69 games on Broadway as the team marched to a second-place finish on Metro. He probably would have played more had it not been for a stint on the COVID list in January. During the team’s playoff run, he competed in 18 of their 20 postseason contests.
Let’s face it, the extension, which some questioned, seemed like a really good move for the 2022-23 campaign. Now that Reaves is struggling to stay in the lineup, the signing is under renewed scrutiny.
Rangers have another player up front who has been sidelined that they would like to see in the line-up. Vitali Kravtsov, who has been injured many times, is healthy enough to come back. Still, he’s struggling thanks to the efforts of two other right wingers, Julien Gauthier and Jimmy Vesey.
“I have an idea, but I don’t know when it’s going to happen,” Gallant said of Kravtsov on Monday. “He was unlucky. At the moment I like the way our team is playing. It will happen – he will play. We want to give him every chance.”
So if the 22-year-old attacking forward is having a hard time cracking the line-up, Reaves might see it as scaling Mt. Everest.
Ryan Reaves on waivers?
Reaves is listed at 6ft 2 and 225lbs and is physically present every time he steps onto the ice. That being said, he’s not known for being light on his feet, which doesn’t get better with age.
The team has picked up speed and Reaves seems to be struggling to keep up. This season he has no points in his 12 competitions with a rating of -5.
New York is also facing the salary cap and can’t make an 911 call without putting someone on LTIR. Such a move means that a player must be out for at least 10 games or 24 days.
The NY Post’s Larry Brooks has been writing for weeks that the team can no longer carry the maximum 23-man roster. You need to create cap space for a trade deadline move, such as B. the takeover of Patrick Kane.
Rangers will have to put someone on waivers soon, and it’s very likely it’ll be Reaves. If he’s not claimed, only $1.125 million of his total salary can be buried in the AHL. While that’s not ideal, it’s more than the $750,000 they would get if they sent Ryan Carpenter downstairs.
Of course, this is a big risk as 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, could be the team making the claim. Also, former Rangers’ Ryan Strome and Frank Vatrano would certainly put in the good word to GM Pat Verbeek to make the move.
In 767 NHL career 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 recorded 992 penalty minutes.
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