Wayne Simmonds comes to Ryan Reaves’ defense!

Wayne Simmonds comes to Ryan Reaves’ defense!

The former Maple Leafs knows who to blame for Reaves’ woes…



There is a chance that veteran forward Ryan Reaves makes a return to the Toronto Maple Leafs’ lineup on Saturday against the Jets in Winnipeg. In practice earlier today, forward Calle Jarnkrok was injured, while Bobby McMann was placed on the team’s injured reserve.

There is a lot of uncertainty when it comes to Reaves’ future in Toronto, however, when asked about his opportunities with the Maple Leafs, a former member of the club came to his defense.

Wayne Simmonds’ time with the Maple Leafs didn’t go as he had hoped and therefore, he feels for Reaves.

“From the playing aspect, it wasn’t what I hoped,” said Simmonds of his 138 games in Toronto. “At the same time, I’m still grateful to the organization for allowing me to put on the Maple Leaf.

When talking about Reaves, who signed a three-year contract with the Leafs in the summer, and him being a healthy scratch on the roster, Simmonds added this:

“You want nothing more than to play well and help the guys out,” he said. “If you’re not doing that, you feel kind of lost. (Reaves) had a little bit of a tough time at the beginning of the season, but I don’t think he got too many opportunities to actually be able to do what he can do.

“That’s just me knowing how it happened for me. Feel like it’s going much the same for him.”

Simmonds was selected in the second round of the 2007 NHL draft by the Los Angeles where he spent three seasons, before becoming quite the journeyman. He played for the Philadelphia Flyers and had short stints with the Nashville Predators, Buffalo Sabres and New Jersey Devils before signing in Toronto ahead of the pandemic-shortened 2021 season. He registered 27 points and 190 penalty minutes in 128 contests with the Maple Leafs.

As for Reaves, he has recorded just a single goal and 16 penalty minutes in 21 games this season, his first with Toronto.

Talks have emerged that he could be a healthy scratch again in the future and even traded or waived by the Maple Leafs.

Simmonds has called time on his playing career on Friday. When he spoke spoke to The Canadian Press ahead of the Hockey Diversity Alliance’s first-ever WinterFest event, he is now focused on his family, four kids since the addition of his first son two months ago.

“I haven’t officially announced my retirement, but I’m done,” said Simmonds. “I had a great career. It was the best time I’ve ever had in my life.

“Right now, it’s family time.”

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