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Golden Knights trade Ryan Reaves

Updated July 29, 2021 - 10:33 pm

The Golden Knights locker room and bench is going to be a lot quieter next season.

The Knights traded brash and boisterous right wing Ryan Reaves to the New York Rangers for a 2022 third-round pick, the team announced Thursday. The move reunites Reaves with former Knights coach Gerard Gallant in New York.

The 34-year-old bruiser became one of the team’s most popular players after being traded from the Pittsburgh Penguins on Feb. 23, 2018 despite playing exclusively on the fourth line. Reaves’ trash talk, huge hits and involvement in the community won him plenty of fans despite his more limited offensive production.

He did record one of the most important goals in Knights history by scoring the series-winning goal of the 2018 Western Conference Final. He also scored in Game 1 of the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.

“(Reaves’) toughness, character and unique skill set will be missed here at the Golden Knights and we wish him and his family all the best moving forward,” said general manager Kelly McCrimmon, who coached Reaves with his junior team, the Brandon Wheat Kings. “I am proud of the man he has become.”

Reaves had 42 points in 209 games with the Knights. He recorded 837 hits in his time with the team, 107 more than the next-closest player.

Reaves’ role started to diminish late this past postseason. He was a healthy scratch for four of the Knights’ last eight games, including the final three.

Reaves had one year remaining on his contract with a $1.75 million cap hit. The Knights are $37,439 over the upper limit after the move and have to re-sign restricted free agent center Nolan Patrick.

Contact Ben Gotz at bgotz@reviewjournal.com. Follow @BenSGotz on Twitter.

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