As his Toronto Maple Leafs teammates try to get back to winning ways on a regular basis, tough Ryan Reaves is brooding in the press box night after night.
The 37-year-old veteran suffered a knee injury last December 14, and was temporarily among the injured. However, he is in good enough shape to play games, but his coach Sheldon Keefe does not see fit to use him despite the ups and downs of his club, which just finished a four-game trip with a record of .500. The signing of a three-year contract last summer is not happy with the situation, having scored just one goal in 21 appearances this season.
“It's not funny. Nobody likes to watch hockey when the team comes to battle. I really hate this, but there is nothing else I can do. I don't know the general context or what will happen. I think we will have to wait and see,” he commented to Sportsnet.
I am not in these offices nor am I participating in these discussions. I won't speculate. I just have to be ready and if called upon, I'll be there. If they don't make me play, I'll keep working.”
It's still in the plans
Some may point to Reaves' -11 differential to explain his absence. However, Keefe maintains he remains confident in the man who has logged more than 1,000 penalty minutes in his NHL career. When physical opponents emerge on the road to the Leafs, the winger may be able to provide proud service.
He must continue to work and prepare. this is the most important. He had to recover from injury to get back to adequate level […] The pilot said it was difficult to determine the right time to test everything in the match. Rivo, we know a little about what he can bring to the team. [À l’opposé]We have some questions about our young players.
Now, can Reeves ask his representatives to facilitate the trade? He faced similar circumstances with the New York Rangers, who traded him to the Minnesota Wild in November 2022.
“I spoke with my agents. I've seen this before. During my career, I've had good moments and not so good moments: this is probably one of the most difficult moments, he admitted. And so on. You only control what you can. I'm not in training and I can't change this by myself.
The Queen City will play its next two games against the Winnipeg Jets, Wednesday at Scotiabank Arena and Saturday in Manitoba.
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