For most of the past season, other than trading star players to enter a rebuilding phase, the New York Rangers have been searching to fill toughness void that has hurt them all campaign long. Entering the offseason, the Rangers zeroed in on one specific, one that made it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals, and despite losing to the Washington Capitals, Vegas Golden Knights' Ryan Reaves appears to be in high demand.
Larry Brooks of The New York Post reports the Rangers are interested in signing the coveted bruiser on Sunday to add some toughness to their rebuilding roster.
Golden Knights general manager George McPhee, who also need to focus on free agents James Neal and David Perron, is said to have held talks with Reeves on a contract extension, however, the Rangers might have a secret weapon in play to woo him to come to New York instead. The Rangers are reportedly making a strong push for Reeves with the help from one of his close friends, defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, as noted by NHL insider Andy Strickland.
Brooks believes Reaves is likely to double his $1.125 million cap hit from last season, however he thinks the Rangers will not offering him more than a two-year deal. As for cap space and money available, the annual salary for Reaves should be an issue for New York.
The addition of Reaves in the Blue Shirts' lineup would still allow to keep Mats Zuccarello, Pavel Buchnevich and Jesper Fast on the roster as the the team’s right wingers.
It would be a third team in less than a year for Reaves, who was moved from the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Golden Knights at the February trade deadline. He was moved from the St. Louis Blues to the Penguins last year at the draft for a packagae that included a first-round pick.
In 79 games combined with the Pittsburgh and Vegas last season, the veteran gritty forward tallied four goals and 10 points. He added two goals in 10 playoff games during the Golden Knights run to the Stanley Cup Final. Reeves certainly caught the attention when he scored the game-winning goal for Vegas in Game 5 against the Winnipeg Jets during the Western Conference Finals.
Let's see if his buddy Shattenkirk will have the final word here on Sunday.