Ryan Reaves sounds off on his early-season struggles

Samer Dagher
April 5, 2024  (5:43 PM)

Toronto Maple Leafs enforcer Ryan Reaves
Photo credit: IG

The Toronto Maple Leafs made a surprising move by signing rugged forward Ryan Reaves to a three-year contract worth $4.05 million, orchestrated by new general manager Brad Treliving.

Reaves, primarily known for his physical play rather than scoring, has raised questions given his age of 37.
Despite playing 44 games this season, including a stint on Injured Reserve in December, Reaves revealed he was healthy during his absence from the lineup. He expressed readiness to play when called upon but respected the team's decision.
«Yeah, I've been ready for a couple weeks now,» Reaves said in late January. 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.»

Admitting to struggling with confidence early in his time with the Leafs, Reaves treated his time off as a sort of training camp, focusing on improving various aspects of his game and regaining confidence.
"Used that as a mini training camp," Reaves said of his six-week absence from the lineup. "I worked on everything that I could. I was doing two-, three-a-days (training sessions) sometimes.

"Just trying to get confidence back."

"Confidence is a real thing," Reaves said. "First time I've probably gone through something like that in my career where I just felt like nothing was going right. I just felt like I had no confidence. Used that opportunity to try and build it back."

Regarding potential playoff appearances, Reaves deferred to team management, emphasizing his role in playing physical, defending, and creating scoring opportunities, leaving lineup decisions to those above him.
"Not a question for me," he said. "I can only do what I can do — play physical and take care of my own end and get chances.

"That's above my pay grade."

Do you think Ryan Reaves will be in the game 1 lineup of the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
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Ryan Reaves sounds off on his early-season struggles

Do you think Ryan Reaves will be in the game 1 lineup of the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

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