Ryan Reaves was traded to the Minnesota Wild on November 23 after starting the season with the New York Rangers pointless after 12 games.
Reaves, now with 20 games under his belt for the Wild, is making his grand return to Madison Square Garden on Tuesday.
He is, of course, already talking about fighting his former teammates of just seven weeks ago.
Former #NYR Ryan Reaves is back in the building! pic.twitter.com/iu1RPVfXR9
— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) January 10, 2023
The 13-year NHL veteran was asked pregame if he thought anyone on the Rangers roster would challenge him to a bout.
“I’d be happy to go 2 on 1, to be honest,” Reaves said to The Athletic’s Arthur Staple. “That’s what it’s gonna take.”
Reaves, who moved out of the Metropolitan Division without fighting Tom Wilson a single time, has gotten into three fights this year and got into five total as a member of the Rangers during parts of two seasons.
The Rangers initially added Reaves, the self-proclaimed Wilson problem solver, in reply to the two line brawls between the Metropolitan Division rivals at the end of the 2020-21 campaign. The two had a history of chirping each other.
“We’re fighting three times or I’m jumping you,” Reaves said of Wilson before being acquired by the Rangers.
His first fight of this season ironically came against his current teammate with the Wild, Marcus Foligno.
The fight produced a photo of Reaves battling Foligno along the boards that went somewhat viral. Reaves later posted it on his Instagram where it even got a comment from legendary rapper Snoop Dogg.
Reaves was asked about the photo after making his debut with the Wild.
“It’s the background on my computer,” he said. “I’ve always had respect for [Foligno]. He plays hard. He plays the right way. He doesn’t do anything dirty. He sticks up for his teammates. He answers the bell when he has to. That’s a guy I’ve always respected. No hard feelings.”
The Rangers, as a team, have fought 11 times this season. Outside of Reaves, the players to drop the gloves have been Barclay Goodrow, Braden Schneider, Ryan Lindgren, and Jacob Trouba.
If Reaves and his four points in 20 games for the Wild somehow find a suitor willing to take themselves off of the ice in exchange for him, it will likely be one of those four names. Or two of them if you ask Ryan.
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