As we’ve seen during their six-game winning streak, the Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the most dependent-on-goaltending teams in the NHL. If not for the outstanding play of Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer this season, the Leafs probably aren’t in a playoff position right now.
Statistically, Bernier has been the better of the two netminders, with a .927 save percentage in 36 games. But his partner has been almost as good, at .919 in 22 appearances.
Reimer, 25, is also a restricted free agent — a status that has led to questions for general manager Dave Nonis about next season.
“I haven’t thought that too far, but could I see a scenario where both goalies were back next season? Yes,” Nonis told the National Post yesterday. “We’ve gone this far because of our goaltending. Jon is on a bit of a roll, but James has been really good for us.”
Part of Nonis’s decision will depend on what he’s able to get for Reimer in a trade. The goalie market is a tough one to define. The Los Angeles Kings were only able to garner a third-round pick for Ben Scrivens. Granted, Reimer is two years younger and has more NHL experience than Scrivens.
As NP reporter Michael Traikos notes, “The Leafs, who still have control over Reimer, could re-sign him to a one-year deal at a number similar to what Bernier is making. But with Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf both getting significant raises next season and several key players heading for free agency (Jake Gardiner, Cody Franson, Dave Bolland), bringing back Reimer will not be easy.”
The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Christian Djoos to a two-year, $1.3 million contract.
It’s a two-way deal in 2017-18, and a one-way deal the following season.
Djoos, 22, is expected to push for an NHL spot next season, along with Madison Bowey and possibly Tyler Lewington.
That’s because Karl Alzner and Kevin Shattenkirk, both unrestricted free agents, aren’t expected to re-sign with Washington.
On top of that, the Caps lost d-man Nate Schmidt in yesterday’s expansion draft.
Djoos, a seventh-round pick in 2012, had 13 goals and 45 assists in 66 games for AHL Hershey this past season.
It was his second full season in the AHL.
Commissioner Gary Bettman says the NHL will look to enforce slashing penalties more next season.
Following the league’s board of governors meeting, Bettman said pointless slashes to players’ hands will be called more. Ottawa’s Marc Methot and Calgary’s Johnny Gaudreau were among the players to miss time last season with hand injuries from slashes.
Related PHT coverage:
— Gaudreau (finger) out six weeks, Treliving says Staal slash the culprit
— Flames made ‘mountain out of a molehill’ over Gaudreau slash
— Methot ‘out for weeks’ after suffering a shattered finger from Crosby slash
— Melnyk blasts ‘whiner’ Crosby, who won’t face hearing for Methot slash
Here. We. Go.
According to Frank Seravalli of TSN, the Vegas Golden Knights have sent defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Van Riemsdyk was among 15 defensemen taken by the Golden Knights in Wednesday’s expansion draft, however, general manager George McPhee made a point of saying that, as a result of having this sudden surplus at the position, he was going to have to move some of those blue liners.
McPhee has been busy over the past few days, making deals with a number of teams ahead making his expansion selections, stockpiling draft picks, including three in the top 15 of the first round.
More to come.
Dallas filled out Ken Hitchcock’s coaching staff on Thursday, with a host of familiar faces.
Hitchcock’s longtime assistant, Rick Wilson, has come aboard, as has former Stars forward Stu Barnes. In announcing those hires, GM Jim Nill also revealed the club would retain the services of assistant Curt Fraser, who has been with the club since 2012.
“The three have a unique familiarity with the club from the time they spent here,” Nill said in a release. “We’re excited for the wealth of knowledge and experience they will add to our coaching staff.”
Wilson, 66, worked with Hitch in Dallas from 1995-2002 and, together, captured the Stanley Cup in ’99. He also worked with Hitchcock in St. Louis over the last few years.
Barnes, 46, finished his 17-year NHL career in Dallas, then quickly transitioned to the coaching side of things in 2009, spending two years as a Stars assistant under Marc Crawford.