DeBoer defends Reaves: 'One of the cleanest tough guys I've seen'

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Vegas Golden Knights head coach Pete DeBoer has come to the defense of Ryan Reaves.

"It's not hard to defend Ryan Reaves," DeBoer said Monday, according to David Schoen of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "For me, Ryan Reaves is one of the cleanest tough guys I've seen in the league in my 12, 13 years."

The Golden Knights forward was assessed a match penalty for attempting to injure Colorado Avalanche defenseman Ryan Graves during a scrum after a whistle in Game 1 of their teams' second-round series Sunday night.

Reaves will have a hearing Monday for roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct, the NHL Department of Player Safety announced.

But DeBoer believes extra discipline may not be necessary.

"As far as the incident, I don't know. That's in player safety. I do know a couple things: His gloves never came off, and nobody was hurt on the play," DeBoer said. "Whether they're going to look at what's between the lines there and think that there's something that maybe I don't see, that's their department, not mine."

Graves was bleeding and briefly lay prone on the ice after the play.

Reaves ranks eighth among all players with 937 penalty minutes since entering the NHL in 2010. The 34-year-old has been suspended twice before, earning bans in 2016 and during last year's postseason.

DeBoer defends Reaves: 'One of the cleanest tough guys I've seen'
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