The hit of the year: Why Ryan Reaves on Filip Hronek was mean…but clean

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Daily Faceoff

Devastating. Textbook. Violent. Clean. Disturbing. Uncomfortable. Can one bodycheck be all of the above?

Yes, according to the unforgettably heavy blow Minnesota Wild right winger Ryan Reaves delivered to Detroit Red Wings defenseman Filip Hronek Wednesday night.

Just minutes into the game, Hronek was carrying the puck out of Detroit’s zone, skating through the middle of the ice. Approaching the blueline. He made the regrettable decision to look off to his left, just as Reaves barrelled toward him at full speed.


Reaves, 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds on his lightest day, blasted through Hronek in arguably the heaviest hit of the 2022-23 NHL season.

“Honestly, he locked eyes with me. Like, I saw him look at me and then he just kind of turned his head and held on to the puck. …” he told The Athletic’s Michael Russo. “I hope he’s OK, but you’ve gotta know when I’m on ice and definitely don’t skate at me like that.”

Hronek’s body hit the ice like a pedestrian hit by a car. It was extremely ugly to watch. But dirty? No. Not even Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde felt so.

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