Ryan Reaves makes surprising remark about teammate Jake McCabe

Mike Armenti
May 19, 2024  (12:55)

Jake McCabe
Photo credit: Dan Hamilton, USA Today Sports

Ryan Reaves recently made a very surprising comment about his Maple Leafs teammate, Jake McCabe.

Reaves has been around the league for a long time and has seen a lot of quality players come and go. However, the first year Leaf views McCabe, another relative newcomer in Toronto, as potentially his favourite defender in the NHL. He admitted as much to Sportsnet's Luke Fox ahead of Game 7 against the Bruins.
"I was talking about him the other day. He might be my favourite defenceman in the league. He does a little bit of everything. He's got really good poise with the puck and breaks out well. He plays so physical. Blocks shots. He adds a little offence, too. He's kind of like a unicorn in the league — just a guy who does everything really well."
-Reaves on McCabe

There's no question that McCabe gave the Leafs more than their money's worth in 2023-24. McCabe, who still has one year remaining on his current deal at a modest $2M, is still having half of his salary paid by the Chicago Blackhawks. In the minutes he played for the Leafs, he showed that he is a heart & soul player who is willing to lay it all on the line each and every night for his team.
For Reaves, who also gives it everything he has each and every night, it's easy to get behind players who approach every game with a similar mindset, whether it be in the regular season or in the playoffs.
After a career year where he scored 8 goals, 28 points and was a +20, McCabe is going to be a popular defenseman in the eyes of his new head coach, Craig Berube, who demands a strong work ethic and wants his team to play the game the right way. McCabe certainly embodies these aspects.
19 MAI   |   439 ANSWERS
Ryan Reaves makes surprising remark about teammate Jake McCabe

Should the Leafs extend Jake McCabe this summer or let him enter the final year of his deal without a new contract in place?

Extend him now, before another solid year34478.4 %
Negotiate in-season347.7 %
Let him play the final year and then open talks4810.9 %
I'm not impressed by him at all. Let him walk.133 %
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