In losing Reaves, the fanbase loses another favorite
By Jason R. Latham
Vegas Golden Knights fans are unlikely to forget the 2021 offseason for some time. On the heels of losing the face of the franchise in goaltender Marc Andre Fleury, the Stanley Cup semi-finalists dealt away another extremely popular player in forward Ryan Reaves, who will now take the ice for the New York Rangers.
In return, Vegas gets a 2022 third-round pick from New York, which finished fifth in the NHL’s East Division in 2021. The Golden Knights, a perennial playoff contender since the team’s inception, also save themselves $1.75 million on the final year of Reaves’ contract, as ownership wrestles with the constrictions of the league’s salary cap.
Money saved is money earned, “they” say. Try telling that to Golden Knights fans.
Reaves may not have been one of the original “misfits’ taken by Vegas in the 2017 Expansion Draft, he arrived in the midst of the team’s storybook first season in a three-way trade with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators, but he immediately became part of the narrative, and fans will always remember his first goal as a Golden Knight, a Western Conference Finals clincher against the Jets that sent Vegas to the Stanley Cup Finals.
In losing Reaves, the fanbase loses another favorite; a fearsome, muscular enforcer that would bring T-Mobile Arena crowds to their feet every time he threw down with opponents — seriously, who is going to put Evander Kane in his place now? – while also laying down roots in the community as CEO of his 7Five Brewing Co.
As local celebrities go, the Winnipeg native felt like one of our own, a scrappy underdog that found his way to Vegas and was determined to make a name for himself on and off the ice. Sure, No. 75 would get the same red carpet treatment afforded to Strip entertainers and local dignitaries, deservedly so, but in 7Five Brewing Co., Las Vegans saw in Reaves another determined businessman trying to make a living in the big city.
With “Reavo” now on his way to the biggest city, Rangers fans would do right by showing him the same love that he received whenever taking the ice at T-Mobile Arena. And while heartbroken Golden Knights drown their sorrows in 7Five craft beer, they should circle January 6, 2022 so they can give the star player a standing ovation when New York comes to Vegas.
By the way, the Rangers play the Sharks a week later, just in case you wanted to see Reaves throw Kane another beating.
Find great deals on Vegas Golden Knights merch!