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Ryan Reaves is one of the baddest dudes in the NHL and managed to win a fight without throwing a single punch over the weekend. It might not have even qualified as a “fight.”
Prior to Sunday’s game against the Minnesota Wild, the Arizona Coyotes called up left winger Bokondji “Boko” Imama for the second time during the 2022-23 season. He wasn’t ready for what was to happen next.
Early in the first period, as a group of Coyotes chased a loose puck down the ice, Reaves was in hot pursuit. When they reached the glass behind the net, Reaves checked defenseman Juuso Valimaki with a big hit into the boards and flattened him out.
Imama, who joined the team earlier that morning, took issue with the hit. He immediately called for Reaves to meet him near center ice and signaled that he wanted to drop the gloves.
Reaves, who rarely loses a tilt, obliged. The two skated over just past the blue line and squared up.
Imama stands 6-foot-1, 221 pounds. Reaves stands 6-foot-2, 225 pounds.
It was set to be an NHL heavyweight rumble. Instead, what happened next was a total NHL snoozer.
Both men were hesitant to make the first move, and Reaves held out for Imama to make the first move. Eventually, Imama threw a few jabs. Reaves just stepped aside and slapped them away.
Imama came forward with a lunging jab just moments later. Reaves just let him crumble onto the ice and locked up the Coyotes forward in a headlock until the officials stepped in and separated the two.
Credit to Imama for getting called up and calling out one of the toughest players in the NHL. Unfortunately for him, though, he lost one of the worst fights in league history. Does it even count?