The Rangers are interested in signing rugged winger Ryan Reaves, reports Larry Brooks of the New York Post. New York is planning to run with a younger team, especially up front so it’s not surprising that they’d have interest in someone who could be tasked with helping to protect those players.
Reaves started this past season with Pittsburgh after they had acquired him from St. Louis back at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. He didn’t fare particularly well with them as his playing time dipped to just 6:45 per game, his lowest since 2011-12. He wound up being dealt to Vegas as part of the Derick Brassard swap where he received more playing time during the rest of the regular season at 9:45 per night. On the year, he wound up with ten points, 94 penalty minutes, and 236 hits in 79 games.
The 31-year-old started the playoffs as a healthy scratch but as the rounds progressed, he started to make his way into the lineup and actually scored in back-to-back games including the game winner in the series-clinching game against the Jets.
Reaves is coming off of a contract that carried a $1.125MM cap hit and while the demand for enforcers is quite low at the moment, it’s still fair to project a raise. Term will obviously also be a factor and Brooks notes that the Rangers are looking to cap their commitments at no more than two years.
New York isn’t the only team with some level of interest in Reaves. Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic adds (Twitter link) that the Blues have been in contact with Reaves’ camp but noted that nothing came out of those discussions.