Ryan Reaves was up to his usual antics on Wednesday night as the Minnesota Wild took on the Detroit Red Wings.

Just over three minutes into the game, the veteran winger laid a massive open-ice hit on Filip Hronek, taking the Red Wings defenceman down. Hronek remained on the ice for a minute and ultimately left the game.

With the hit immediately receiving attention over social media, many debated whether or not the hit was clean as Hronek was caught with his head down. The refs seemed to think it was clean, however, as Reaves did not receive a penalty on the play.

Post-game, he defended the hit.

“He just kind of turned his head and held onto the puck, so I’m not sure exactly what happened,” Reaves said. “I hope he’s OK, but you’ve got to know when I’m on the ice, definitely don’t skate at me like that.”

Reaves’ teammate, Mason Shaw, applauded him on the physical play.

“I think that hit was the hardest hit I’ve ever seen — and been a part of — on the ice. … Everyone in the room respects him.”

Later on in the second period, Reaves recorded his first fight as a member of the Wild, dropping gloves with Red Wings defenceman, Ben Chiarot. As he skated to the penalty box, Reaves pointed to his flexed bicep.

The 35-year-old Winnipeg native was traded to Minnesota by the New York Rangers back in November. His former squad received a fifth-round 2025 NHL Draft pick in exchange. In 10 games with the Wild since the move, Reaves has recorded three points.

Hronek was placed in concussion protocol and not allowed to return, though the Red Wing’s sound optimistic about his status moving forward.