Ryan Reaves knows firsthand how difficult being moved before the NHL’s trade deadline can be.
After all, he was the target of plenty of fan angst after spending six minutes in the penalty box during his first two games with the Golden Knights last season.
“I was probably public enemy No. 1 in Vegas when I got traded here,” Reaves said during an appearance Thursday on the Review-Journal’s Golden Edge podcast. “I stayed in my house and I didn’t go out for a little bit. Then the fans warmed up a little.”
Reaves’ rough beginning seems like a long time ago because the physical forward has emerged as a fan favorite since joining the Knights in a three-way trade Feb. 24. But the Knights lost their first three games with the enforcer in the lineup, and it took a while for Reaves to settle in.
“I think I was just trying to show what I had to this team,” Reaves said. “I think when you’re on a new team you want to put your best foot forward, and my best foot is playing physical. Sometimes that gets you in trouble, but I calmed down after that and kind of got back to my ways.”
While fitting in on the ice proved to be a challenge, Reaves said it took “a day, not even” to mesh with his teammates and coaches. And that welcoming atmosphere should extend to anyone the Knights acquire before the Feb. 25 trade deadline.
“We work hard, but we like to have fun,” Reaves said. “I think that kind of helped me just kind of get used to everything that was around.”
Want to build a snowman?
Defenseman Jon Merrill, who grew up and went to college in Michigan, was excited to see snow again Thursday morning.
“It’s awesome, man,” Merrill said. “I saw all the kids in my neighborhood building snowmen. It’s wild. Honestly, before I got picked up here I thought Vegas was 100 degrees and sunny year-round. I had no idea it even got cold. Never in a million years did I think I would wake up to this.”
He wasn’t the only happy Knight. Defenseman Nate Schmidt, a Minnesota native, confessed he may have fired a few snowballs at Malcolm Subban’s car in the parking lot of the team’s facility.
Hey man, nice shot
Schmidt had one thought after rewatching his third-period goal against the Boston Bruins.
“How did I do that and how do I do that more?” he said.
Schmidt scored after receiving a pass from Jonathan Marchessault, skating around three Bruins and beating goaltender Jaroslav Halak with a glove-side shot. He insisted he only watched the replay once, but said he may have watched a few GIFs of the play online as well.
Odds and ends
■ Forward Ryan Carpenter (injured reserve, upper-body) practiced Thursday.
■ The Knights players and coaching staff watched the Vegas Jr. Golden Knights Pee-Wee AA team compete in the prestigious Quebec International Pee-Wee Tournament after practice. The Jr. Golden Knights beat the Mauricie-Ouest Coyotes from Quebec 5-2 to reach the quarterfinals.
Assistant coach Ryan Craig’s son Carson plays for the younger Knights.
“Hurry up, the kids are playing on TV, eh?” coach Gerard Gallant said to open his Thursday press conference. “It’s good to see those kids out there representing the Golden Knights. They’re playing great. It’s a great tournament.”