The Vegas Golden Knights were over the salary cap again after they signed Mattias Janmark to a $2 million contract on Wednesday. To clear salary-cap space, the Vegas Golden Knights dumped salary on the NHL trade market when GM Kelly McCrimmon dumped original misfit Ryan Reaves to the New York Rangers for a third-round pick.
It’s a solid return for moving Reaves’s $1.75 million AAV salary. However, according to PuckPedia.com, the Golden Knights are still about 36k over the salary cap. Yes, expect more moves, too.
Reaves, 34, is entering the final year of his two-year contract. Like Marc-Andre Fleury, whom McCrimmon traded earlier this week, Reaves was one of the original Vegas Golden Misfits, a defiant battle cry of the new expansion team in 2018 that went to the Stanley Cup Final.
Reaves is also the premier fighter and tough guy in the NHL.
This season, Reaves had one goal and four assists in 37 games. He had one playoff assist in 12 games.
Reaves inadvertently changed the Vegas Golden Knights Round Two series against the Colorado Avalanche for the better. Colorado defenseman Ryan Graves boarded Mattias Janmark, and Reaves sought revenge. In the melee later in the third period, Reaves earned a two-game suspension for his frontier justice hits on Graves.
Reaves hit Graves and knelt on his head. NHL Player Safety dished a suspension.
The Golden Knights lost the first two games but didn’t lose again in the series. They won the series, 4-2.
The Vegas Golden Knights acquired Reaves near the 2018 NHL trade deadline in a complex three-way deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators. As Pittsburgh acquired Derick Brassard from Ottawa, the original deal was rejected by the NHL office because Pittsburgh may have violated the salary cap. On the second attempt, Pittsburgh included Reaves to the Golden Knights.
Then-Golden Knights GM George McPhee was worried the Winnipeg Jets may get Brassard, so he helped Pittsburgh keep Brassard from the Golden Knights rivals. Winnipeg eventually acquired Paul Statsny, and Brassard didn’t last more than one year in Pittsburgh.
Reaves lasted three-plus seasons as a Vegas Golden Misfit. And you’re forgiven for feeling more sadness as the original core parts, like the final scenes of Animal House.