Ryan Reaves, the newest addition to the Toronto Maple Leafs, recently sat down with TSN's James Duthie on Free Agent Frenzy to discuss his move to the historic franchise. With excitement in his voice, Reaves expressed his enthusiasm about joining an original six-team that is determined to make a deep playoff run.
"I'm so excited, Obviously, an original six team, and a team that’s ready to get over the hump, and a lot of fire-powers over there. So I’m just looking to add a little swag, a little grit, and bring a cup to Toronto."
The veteran winger reportedly signed a three-year contract with the Maple Leafs, carrying an average annual value (AAV) of $1.35 million. While his role and exact position within the team are yet to be determined, Reaves is more than willing to embrace the pressure that comes with playing in Toronto.
Reaves jokingly remarked:
"I’ll just beat somebody up and all the pressure is over, so no problem,"
Reaves' presence on the ice is expected to provide the Maple Leafs with a physical edge and grit.
"It’s not about the fighting in the playoffs, for sure....It’s more about a seven-day grind ...letting them know that every time they go back for that puck...you’ve got a chance at getting run."
As the Toronto Maple Leafs strive to make a deep playoff run and contend for the coveted Stanley Cup, Reaves' addition is seen as a valuable addition that can enhance the team's overall makeup and provide a different dimension to their game.
Toronto Maple Leafs and Ryan Reaves have reached a three-year contract agreement worth $4 million
According to a source, the Toronto Maple Leafs are set to acquire veteran forward Ryan Reaves at the start of NHL free agency. The deal is reportedly a three-year contract worth $4.05 million. The addition of Reaves is expected to bring a tougher and more physical element to the team, addressing a criticism of previous player signings.
He is known for his punishing hits, and has played 828 regular-season games over his 13-year career. In the previous season, he had a relatively productive offensive performance, scoring five goals and 15 points in 61 games with the Minnesota Wild after being traded from the New York Rangers. Reaves' signing represents a significant investment by Toronto, considering his age and physical playing style.
The Toronto Maple Leafs already possess high-end scorers like Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander. This move marks the first major decision by new general manager Brad Treliving, who took over from Kyle Dubas in late June.
To be deemed successful, Reaves will need to contribute to making the Leafs a more multidimensional team, particularly in the postseason, where they have historically faced challenges.