Connect with us

Avalanche playoffs

Ryan Reaves Suspended Two Games by NHL DoPS



Pulling out a man’s hair and trying to crush his skull on a hard sheet of ice? Two games.

Ryan Reaves’ punishment for doing that against Avs defenseman Ryan Graves last night, was administered today by the NHL Department of Player Safety. This department is NOT affiliated with the Department of Redundancy Department, as authored by Joseph Heller.

This is what I predicted all day to be the punishment, after hearing in the morning that Reaves would get just a “hearing” and not an “in-person (Zoom)” hearing.

My personal opinion on this kind of stuff goes like this: The decision is based on the injury to the victim, and not the act itself. If Ryan Graves stayed down and had suffered some kind of serious head injury that the Avs said would keep him out for the rest of this series? Then, Reaves probably gets suspended for 6-7 games, maybe more.

But Graves is a tough kid who doesn’t whine about things, so he played on after presumably being cleared by the Avs/NHL concussion people. Vegas was mad about his hit on Mattias Janmark, and it’s fair game to want to hit him hard after something like that. I mean, I believe in that kind of old-testament brand of hockey.

But trying to crush a man’s head into the hard ice, not to mention a flurry of other sucker-punches and a blindside, hogie takedown?

Superstreak Bonus!

No, that’s over the line. That’s not being a true tough guy. That’s being a coward.

Reaves got the two games because of the politics of the situation. Graves somehow escaped not being seriously hurt. Reaves has a suspension history, but not as serious a suspension history of, say, a Nazem Kadri. So, that mattered in this decision. Reaves no doubt still has some favoritism among the old-boy network of the “hockey code”, in that he was just “sticking up for a teammate” with what he did. Former NHL enforcer George Parros is from that old-school crowd.

To quote Todd Bertuzzi: “It is what it is.” I think, as Avs fans hoping for some real justice against a Vegas Golden Knights player, we all have to just count our blessings. Part of me also though Reaves might escape with just a fine.

So, for him to get any kind of suspension is a good baby-steps start to some overdue justice against Ryan Reaves.

Subscribe to CHN+ today!

Adrian Dater - Kiss and Larry Bird fan. Writer with @Gambling and @Bookies, Avs Insider with 104.3 The Fan. Denver Post, SI, Bleacher Report alum, author of seven books.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

What a frigging joke the DoPS is

Matt Briggle

That’s about what I figured it would be. They really need to take out that clause in the CBA that makes injury a key factor in the punishment. A dangerous play is a dangerous play, you shouldn’t get off just because the other player didn’t get hurt.

Don Moore

I think the frustration is more about the lack of any review of the Kolesar/Byram hit and now Reaves gets a relatively minor sussy for a non-hockey play. So what is the standard in Toronto?

Cody Danko

The NHL talks a big game about trying to legislate hits to the head out of the game in an attempt to cut down on serious head injuries, but apparently that only applies to hits that happen within game play such as Kadri’s hit on Faulk. Grinding another player’s head/face into the ice by kneeling with the full force of your body on his head/neck while the player lies motionless on the ice is totally fair game. Not as big of a deal as if you hit the head area in between the whistles during actual game play. After the… Read more »


At least he got a suspension. This is obviously a big story, but I think the important thing is for the Avs to move on from this and punish Vegas by getting 3 more Ws over them ASAP. And despite all the criticism over the uneven handling of what kind only be termed violence, you have to credit the refs for taking care of the Reaves situation right there and then by giving him a match penalty. And while he will be back for game 4, he will have a giant spotlight on him. I can’t see him doing any… Read more »

chippy play

Yep, this is the right response. We don’t need to caught up in this nonsense. Eye on the prize.

Last edited 1 year ago by chippy play

Once again the NHL doing their best to protect the Knights. It’s as though the Knights can do no wrong and are held to a different standard than the rest of the league. Oh’ well that least we don’t need to see the idiot on the ice until game 4. Go Avs!


I’m assuming Kadri will do some MMA training or Krav Maga or something this summer to get 75% shorter suspensions for next season.

Aaron Hinton

Fake tough guy. No respect for the game. But I blame Punk-Ass Pete even more…he knew exactly what he was doing and could have squashed but didn’t. Not quite the same hatred as the wings but getting there quickly.


Game 4 I hope he gets a spear to the wickets from 27.


I’ll just settle for a W

Keith Bullock

Todd Bertuzzi never dropper his gloves when he dropped Steve Moore! What kind of stupid comment is that from DeBoer


Pretty sure Reaves was doing his best impression of Derek Chauvin when he held graves face on the ice with his knee. If player safety bases hearings/suspension on injury, why didn’t Reaves have a Zoom call after boarding Suter into the crossbar (….piping?)?

Last edited 1 year ago by trev
Billy ANders

How is it that Reaves is playing in a men’s league?

Brad K

The Avs need to respond by burring the puck in the back of the net. Over, and over, and over…….

Colorado's premier coverage of the Avalanche from professional hockey people. Adrian Dater, Editor-in-Chief. Part of the National Hockey Now family.

This site is in no way associated with the Colorado Avalanche or the NHL. Copyright © 2019 National Hockey Now and Adrian Dater.

Colorado Hockey Now in your Inbox

Sign up and get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox!

Thank you!