NHL suspends Vegas’ Reaves 2 games for hit on Avalanche’s Graves

Vegas Golden Knights forward Ryan Reaves was suspended two games by the NHL on Monday for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct for trying to injure Colorado Avalanche’s Ryan Graves in game 1 of their second round series on Sunday, May 30, 2021.

During the Golden Knights’ 7-1 loss in the game, Reaves hit Graves at the eighth minute of the third period, which led to him getting a match penalty.

The NHL’s Department of Player Safety announced that it was holding a hearing with Reaves on Monday. Soon after, the league posted a video on its site to explain its decision to suspend Reaves.

The NHL said both the officials and Reaves acknowledged that “a chunk of Graves’ hair was pulled out by Reaves” during the game. It also noted that the roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct of Reaves’ actions was “retaliation” for an earlier hit by Graves on Mattias Janmark.

Vegas coach Pete DeBoer defended Reaves, saying: “For me, Ryan is one of the cleanest tough guys I’ve seen in the league in my 12, 13 years. He’s consistently a clean, physical player.”

Regardless, the Avalanche were unimpressed after seeing Graves thrown onto the ice, staying down while the trainers tended to him.

“Graves is down in a vulnerable position, and he just stays on top of him and obviously hits him,” said Avalanche coach Jared Bednar. “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.”

 
Ryan Reaves

 

Ryan Reaves is a Canadian-American professional ice hockey right winger currently playing for the Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League . He has previously played for the St. (wikipedia)

 
 
Vegas Golden Knights

 

The Vegas Golden Knights are a professional ice hockey team based in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. They compete in the National Hockey League as a member of the West Division. (wikipedia)

 
 
Ryan Graves (ice hockey)

 

Ryan Graves is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman who is currently playing for the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League . Graves was selected by the New York Rangers, (wikipedia)

 
 
Colorado Avalanche

 

The Colorado Avalanche are a professional ice hockey team based in Denver. They compete in the National Hockey League as a member of the West Division. Their home arena is Ball Arena, (wikipedia)

 
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