The New York Rangers’ fast start to 2023 may have ended on Saturday afternoon against New Jersey, but they have a familiar foe to face Tuesday night. When the Minnesota Wild travel to MSG to face the Rangers, they’ll bring them a big part of the Rangers’ physicality over the last couple of years.
Ryan Reaves may not hold grudges about his departure from New York in October, but that doesn’t mean the 35-year-old has forgotten either. Reaves was traded to the Wild back in late November for a fifth-round selection in 2025.
Speaking to reporters Tuesday before the game against the Rangers, Reaves spoke on the “half-truths, half-lies” that led to his departure from New York. The Rangers had kept Reaves as a healthy scratch for eight of the team’s first 10 games in November which led many to believe the hard-hitting forward would be moved to create cap space.
“If you’re trying to trade me, you don’t want me, so then I’m going to push it forward and ask for a trade. But I’m not the one who put it in motion, we’ll put it that way.” Reaves said to Mollie Walker of the New York Post.
Reaves later admitted that New York did not originally initiate the conversation that led to the announcement of a trade being in the works between his Minnesota and the Blueshirts.
As part of the deal, Minnesota took on the rest of Reaves’ $1.75 million he was owed for the remainder of the 2022-23 season. The cap space was a major reason for the deal on the side of the Rangers with several key younger players needing contract extensions in the offseason.
Regardless of who was at all fault for the lack of communication, the Rangers did not have a need for Reaves’ skillset with the emergence of Jimmy Vesey and Julien Gauthier on the fourth line. In 12 games with New York, Reaves did not record a point. He has four assists with Minnesota in 20 appearances.
With Reaves becoming expendable, it opened the doors for the veteran to find a different home in another conference.
And both sides have been better for the move.