The New York Rangers are clearly on a mission to become a more difficult team to play against and on Saturday they announced their latest move in that direction.
According to an official statement released by the Rangers organization, the team signed veteran enforcer Ryan Reaves to a one year contract extension on Saturday. The move follows the acquisition of Reaves earlier in the week via a trade with the Las Vegas Golden Knights in which Reaves was acquired in exchange for a third round draft selection at the 2022 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
The Rangers did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, although it has now been reported by multiple sources that the deal will effectively serve as a one year add-on to Reaves' current NHL contract. Reaves was currently playing on a two year contract extension that saw him earning an average annual value of $1.75 million, and this new extension simply guarantees that he will continue to earn that salary now until the conclusion of the 2022 - 2023 NHL season.
If you're somehow not familiar with Reaves you may be thinking that a cap hit of $1.75 million may be a little pricey for a guy that put up 1 goal and 4 assists for a total of 5 points over 37 games last season, but of course Reaves has not been signed for his offensive production. Over the last several seasons he has earned himself a reputation as one of the most feared players in the NHL and is the kind of player you add to your roster when you want to dissuade the opposition from messing with your star players.
I suspect that the incident that took place this season involving Rangers star forward Artemi Panarin and Washington Capitals enforcer Tom Wilson played no small part in the decision on the part of the Rangers to trade for Reaves as well as the decision to sign him to a contract extension. In the latter stages of the regular season Panarin suffered a season ending injury when he was tossed to the ice by Wilson, an incident that provoked outrage from a segment of the NHL fan base as well as from Rangers owner James Dolan.