Inisders suggesting that Ryan Reaves is trying to shake things up in Toronto
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Two insiders drop a bombshell regarding Leafs winger Ryan Reaves

Published January 22, 2024 at 11:37

The Toronto Maple Leafs are headed home to Toronto today following a 4-game road trip on which they went 2-2. The Leafs dropped games to Edmonton and Vancouver, but played well enough against Calgary and Seattle to secure a couple of important wins, as their position in the standings is being contested.

With their win last night, the Leafs have moved back into 3rd in the Atlantic Division with 54 points, though the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning are nipping at their heels with 53 points apiece and are sitting in the 1st and 2nd Wild Card spots.

Aside from their contentious situation in the standings, the Leafs may also be coming up to a contentious point with one of their veteran wingers, as Sportsnet's Luke Fox dropped an interview with Ryan Reaves last night, where Reaves suggested that he's been healthy and ready to play for a couple of weeks now. As soon as fans had discovered this, the conversation had quickly shifted to how Reaves' comments made it sound like he's frustrated with his current situation in Toronto, being relegated to watching games from the press box instead of playing in his usual spot on the 4th line.

Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek discussed this on their most recent edition of 32 Thoughts this morning, doing their best to make sense of Reavo's comments. Friedman led off by not only suggesting that the Leafs' medical staff may disagree with Reaves' health status. Given Reavo's admission about his knees being very loose, requiring the use of knee braces on both knees, it would certainly make sense that a medical professional may not clear him to return. He also suggested that we may have some sort of a resolution before Wednesday.

"It's one of those things... first of all, I can only theorize this, right?... Maybe the Maple Leafs feel differently. Maybe the doctors feel differently. I don't know, I don't have a good answer for you... I would assume that they're going to do something before [Wednesday's game against the Jets]." - Friedman on the Reaves situation in Toronto

Friedman was purposefully vague in what that resolution might be. It's possible that he simply returns to the lineup, but it's equally possible that he either remains on IR, is moved to LTIR or that he ends up being waived or traded. We'll simply have to wait and see.

Marek, on the other hand, believes that Reaves' comments were intentional and were made to shake the tree in Toronto. Reaves knows how much media attention the team gets and how far comments can go in an interview. Marek believes that Reaves made the comments that he did to try to reach a much quicker resolution.

"I think he's a really smart guy who knows exactly what he's doing when he says to Luke Fox 'yeah, I've been ready for a couple of weeks now'... I think this is Reaves saying, 'alright, Luke. Here we go, bud. We're going to move this thing forward'. I don't think he throws anything like that out frivolously." - Marek on Reaves possibly using the media to send a message

Friedman didn't disagree, and acknowledged that with as smart as Reaves is, he could very well be doing just that, trying to send a message.

"He's a smart guy. He definitely is, he's a smart guy, and, like I said, it happens at the end of a road trip, so Toronto is probably going to be in a situation where they were going to have to deal with this when they got home anyway, and now they do." - Friedman on the idea that Reaves wanted to send a message to the Leafs through the media

With the team having the day off today, we may not hear much about this until at least tomorrow. It will be interesting to see whether Reaves draws back in against the Jets on Wednesday or if there's another type of resolution to the issue before then.
January 22   |   880 answers
Two insiders drop a bombshell regarding Leafs winger Ryan Reaves

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