He’s never been the player who scores the most goals or stands out with his amazing stickhandling or playmaking.
But Ryan Reaves has always been a well-liked teammate and a great character for his teams.
Reaves was drafted in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the St. Louis Blues, and two years later, he signed his first pro contract with the organization.
Reaves attended the Blues 2007 training camp, hoping to get some play time in the NHL in the following season.
But he was quickly reassigned to their AHL afloat, the Peoria Rivermen.
Things eventually turned out great for Reaves, earning himself a spot as a regular in the NHL, playing with the Blues, Minnesota Wild, Pittsburgh Penguins, Vegas Golden Knights, New York Rangers, and the Toronto Maple Leafs.
But things didn’t start out great for Reaves when attending his first-ever training camp with an NHL team.
He was hilariously pranked by none other than Keith Tkachuk, known as Big Walt, and it even led to him getting demoted to the AHL.
”I was hurt my first training camp, and Walt comes off after his skate, and he’s like, ’Hey kid, come over here.’ They had this water massage bed, and it was one of those you lay down, it shoots hot water up. The ones you see at malls sometimes,” Reaves said when guesting on the Missin’ Curfew podcast.
”I was like, ’What the f—k? Why is he telling me to go on a massage bed?’ But was I going to say? No, Big Walt? I was like, ’Oh, yeah, alright!’ I lay down, and he sets this thing for 30 minutes. And this thing is so relaxing. I fall asleep. I mean, I’m like out cold, with drool coming down my f—king face.”
It didn’t take long until Reaves was awakened from his beauty sleep.
”It must have been probably ten minutes into it, and I think it was Bryce Salvador who comes in and slams the bed. And he goes, ’No f—king sleeping in the locker room!’ I’m waking up with drool out of my face. I look over, and there’s the GM. He goes, ’Who’s that kid?’ I was like, ’Oh, s—t.’
”20 minutes later; sent back to the AHL. Like, it wasn’t even 20 minutes. I had a tough first training camp.”