Ryan Reaves Exposes The Maple Leafs For Cheating The System

Samer Dagher
January 22, 2024  (12:43)

Enforcer Ryan Reaves of the Toronto Maple Leafs on the bench
Photo credit: Hockey Beast

Ryan Reaves recently voiced his frustration about not being in the lineup and wasn't shy to expose the Maple Leafs for cheating the system.

Ryan Reaves Exposes The Maple Leafs For Cheating The System

Ryan Reaves, the 37-year-old forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs, has been absent from the lineup since December 14th due to a knee injury. However, in a surprising revelation today, Reaves stated in an interview with Sportsnet's Luke Fox that he has been fit to play for a couple of weeks. Despite his readiness, the team has kept him on injured reserve, raising questions about potential roster and salary cap maneuvers.
«Yeah, I've been ready for a couple of weeks now,» said Reaves. "That's a question for them. I am not in those rooms, in those conversations. I'm not going to speculate anything. Just stay ready. And if I get called upon, I do. If I don't, I get my work in.»

Head coach Sheldon Keefe, when asked about Reaves's injury, provided vague responses, indicating that the player might not be ready to return, without offering specific reasons for his absence.
Of note, the team has not placed Reaves on LTIR (Long-Term Injured Reserve), despite his month-long absence. This decision is relevant because it involves submitting specific paperwork to the league, signed by both the player and the team doctor, and is more closely monitored due to salary cap implications.
The NHL policy for players on regular IR differs from LTIR. Regular IR depends on the individual club's medical staff's decision, while LTIR involves submitting a form to the league, closely monitored due to salary cap ramifications.

The situation suggests that the team might be intentionally holding Reaves back, possibly aware that he is ready to play. However, the team cannot delay addressing this matter indefinitely, especially considering they signed Reaves to a three-year deal in the offseason, a move that raised eyebrows.
Reaves's on-ice performance has also been under scrutiny, with only one goal in 21 games and a -11 plus-minus rating despite limited ice time. This raises speculation about the team exploring options, including potential waivers, for the struggling player.
As seen on Ryan Reaves insists he has been healthy for weeks despite Maple Leafs keeping him on injured reserve
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Ryan Reaves Exposes The Maple Leafs For Cheating The System

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