On Tuesday night in Las Vegas, Reaves caught Wilson admiring his pass and laid him out with an open-ice hit. Wilson’s helmet came off, and his head hit the ice, leaving him concussed. Reaves was ejected from the game with a major interference penalty.
“That was a man’s game out there,” Reaves said after the game. “I thought he was just looking at his pass, and he ran into a lion in the jungle.”
After the game, Inscriptagraphs, a Las Vegas-based memorabilia company, began selling a photo that showed Reaves looking down at an injured Wilson, whose head was in his hands and whose face was down on the ice. The photo was signed by Reaves in red ink and inscribed with his postgame boast: “He ran into a lion in the jungle.”
Capitals fans, including the blog Russian Machine Never Breaks, took notice of the photograph and railed against it being in poor taste, considering that Wilson is currently out of the lineup because of the concussion.
On Thursday afternoon, Inscriptagraphs removed the photo from its website, and a copy of it that had been for sale on eBay was taken down as well.
A request for comment from Inscriptagraphs wasn’t returned. Eric Tosi, vice president of communications and content for the Golden Knights, told ESPN that “the photos were not distributed and they have been destroyed.”
Reaves didn’t receive any supplemental discipline for his hit on Wilson, as the two battled all game.
“Reaves targeted him the entire game,” Capitals coach Todd Reirden said after the game. “You could hear it on every faceoff. You could hear the things that were being said, and it’s a blindside hit where an unsuspecting player hits his head on the ice. That’s disappointing. You can put two and two together, but he targeted him the entire game.”
Wilson was suspended by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety for the first 14 games of the season for an illegal check to the head during the preseason. He has been suspended four times since September 2017.