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Reaves reveals why he chose the Leafs and issues a stern warning to Radko Gudas

Published September 18, 2023 at 2:32 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI

When the Maple Leafs inked Ryan Reaves to a 3-year contract in free agency this summer, the reactions to the news were mixed. Some believe that money was better spent elsewhere, while others view the signing as an important one from a leadership, experience and ferocity perspective.

From Reaves' perspective, the deal was too good to turn down. There were believed to be a number of teams interested in the veteran enforcer on a 2-year deal, but the Leafs offering that 3rd year really put them over the top. There was another factor, though, in Reaves' mind that trumped every other opportunity he was presented with.

"A chance to win a Cup. That's why I came here. You look at this team from last year - the last couple seasons - what they do in the regular season... it's only a matter of time. I just wanted to be here for when it happens." - Reaves on why he chose Toronto

Reaves told the media from the Leafs' charity golf tournament this morning that he has been in town for 3 weeks now, hoping to get settled and get his house in order. He also wanted to have the opportunity to meet with and skate with some of his new teammates prior to camp.


Reaves was also asked about his fellow UFA forwards who opted to sign with the Leafs, Max Domi and Tyler Bertuzzi and what he feels is their most important asset. Here's what Reavo had to say on the subject.

"Just a lot of grit. They both have a lot of skill too, but maybe something this team has been missing is a little bit of grit over the last couple of years and I think those guys fit the mold of what we need here."

When asked what the group has been like so far, Reaves told the media that the group is very tight-knit. He revealed that he has already had a few beers with his new teammates and that everyone seems to like to hang out together, which is great, since some teams can be very clique-y.

Another question Reaves responded to is what he might bring to the team this year and how the room might change with him in it.

"I'm pretty loud. It's not going to be a quiet room anymore. I've been around for awhile and I like to help out the young guys a lot. [I bring] a lot of energy. Practice, games, whatever it is... I'm an energy guy." - Reaves on what he'll add to the Leafs

For those who may not recall, Florida Panthers defenseman Radko Gudas stood over a deflated and disappointed rookie goaltender Joseph Woll, screaming in his face to rub some salt in the wounds after the Panthers had eliminated the Leafs during the second round of the playoffs. When Reaves was asked whether or not he saw the play in question or whether that would have happened if he was on the ice, he responded in true Reavo fashion, putting Gudas and every other antagonist in the NHL on notice.

"I hope he tries that. That would be interesting, wouldn't it? I doubt there's gonna be any of that here."

We all know that Reaves won't hesitate to punch people in the face, but that's not the only reason why he's in Toronto. There are other ways that he can help as well - something he alluded to towards the end of his media availability.

"I've been around for 14 years. I've been on good teams, I've been on some bad teams. I've been to a bunch of conference finals, a cup final, so I know what it takes to get there. I've seen the things that work and the things that really hurt you in the playoffs. I hope to just kind of pass that knowledge along."

The full interview is available on the official Toronto Maple Leafs app, available for your favourite mobile devices.
POLL
September 18   |   334 answers
Reaves reveals why he chose the Leafs and issues a stern warning to Radko Gudas

How do you feel about the Ryan Reaves signing now that the full picture is more clear in Toronto?

I love it21865.3 %
I don't like it175.1 %
It's fine, but not great4914.7 %
We'll see how it looks in years 2 and 35015 %
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