Ryan Reaves is an NHL veteran, and he’s been in his fair share of fights during his many years in the league.
The 36-year-old winger was signed by the Toronto Maple Leafs this summer to make the team tougher and bring some physical presence to the team.
Reaves has played in the NHL since 2010 and has been a fan favorite on every team he’s played for.
Players like Reaves get rarer and rarer in the NHL, and there are not many players in the NHL these days who are considered tougher than him. And it’s not many players over the years that Reaves actually feared coming up against.
When Reaves appeared on the ”Missin Curfew” podcast, he revealed that only one player throughout his career has ever scared him when dropping the gloves: former NHL forward Brian McGrattan.
“That guy used to scare me,” Reaves said. ”He was who I was scared to fight because he was with Nashville and we played them a ton. He was also who, when I fought him, I realized I was a little tougher than I thought.”
Reaves also shared a great story from a fight with McGrattan in Reaves’ second NHL season. The fight, which can be seen down below, gave him big confidence going forward.
“As I progressed (as a fighter), I fought Kyle Clifford; I knocked him out and started thinking, ‘Okay, maybe I’m a little bit tougher than I think,” Reaves said. “But then I fought (Brian McGrattan), and I wasn’t looking for it, but we were down 2-0 in the game early and I was like ‘I’ve got to fight him, this is my job.’
“And I remember — I’m not saying I won the fight because I got back to the penalty box and I had three to four golf balls on my forehead, I couldn’t move my neck — but I just remember I looked over at him and he was leaking over his eyebrow. He kind of looked at me like ‘Who the fuck is this?’ I remember he was laughing during the fight. He went to bluff me and I jumped back, and he started laughing.”