Skip to content

Reaves won't deny fight with Rempe: 'No reason to say no'

Icon Sportswire / Getty

Saturday night's marquee clash between the Toronto Maple Leafs and New York Rangers is an Original Six battle featuring two of the top five teams in the Eastern Conference, but all eyes will be on a couple of fourth-liners.

Veteran enforcer Ryan Reaves and rookie sensation Matt Rempe will cross paths for the first time, and the Maple Leafs' tough guy won't turn down an opportunity to drop the gloves with the new kid on the block if the situation arises.

"I'm not just gonna square up with him at center ice," Reaves said, according to Sportsnet's Luke Fox. "But if something happens, whether I run somebody or he runs somebody, I got no reason to decline or not go after him. Or if he comes after me, I got no reason to say no."

Rempe burst onto the scene in mid-February when he fought New York Islanders veteran Matt Martin at the Stadium Series in his first NHL shift.

The 6-foot-7 rookie has fought three more times since his debut, and Reaves can relate to the position Rempe's in.

"I mean, he's obviously a kid trying to make a name for himself," Reaves said. "I was in that position when I was younger, too, just coming in and trying to fight everything that moved.

"And he's obviously doing a good job if we're talking about him."

Rempe's logged more penalty minutes (32) than ice time (27:43) in his six-game career but has also chipped in with a goal and an assist in his limited action.

Reaves has been credited with three fights this season, his first with the Maple Leafs.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox