Golden Knights' Ryan Reaves Suspended For Roughing Avalanche's Ryan Graves

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 31, 2021

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MAY 28: Ryan Reaves #75 of the Vegas Golden Knights warms up prior to Game Seven of the First Round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the Minnesota Wild at T-Mobile Arena on May 28, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images)
Jeff Bottari/NHLI via Getty Images

The NHL issued Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves a two-game suspension for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct following his actions against Colorado Avalanche defender Ryan Graves in Game 1 of the series on Sunday.

Graves was tossed to the ice, and Reaves later admitted to officials that he pulled hair out of the victim while he was on the ground, a report the official corroborated (h/t Jesse Granger of The Athletic). 

The incident occurred in the third period with the Golden Knights down 7-1. 

With the penalties against Reaves—which added up to a match penalty, a five-minute major and a double minor for roughing—as well as 10-minute misconducts handed out to four separate players following an ensuing brawl, the Avalanche went on a nine-minute power play. 

Alison @AlisonL

Box score was later updated to include even *more* penalties because, of course. pic.twitter.com/YIIvnFb1sq

The announcement came after Reaves had a hearing with the league's Department of Player Safety on Monday, and after he avoided further discipline following a tough hit on Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter in Game 7 of the first-round series. 

He was suspended during last year's postseason run, missing the first game of the Western Conference Final against the Dallas Stars, after he was called for an illegal check to the head of Vancouver's Tyler Motte in Game 7. 

Golden Knights head coach Peter DeBoer defended Reaves after the game, calling him "one of the cleanest tough guys" in the league, while Avalanche coach Jared Bednar had a different opinion of the situation.

"Graves is down in a vulnerable position, and he just stays on top of him and obviously hits him," Bednar told reporters. "So I didn't like the play. But [DeBoer] knows his player. I guess I don't think that [Reaves] is out there trying to injure people on purpose. He's just got a ruggedness to his game."

Game 2—without Reaves—is slated for Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET.