The writing has likely been on the wall for some time now, but James Reimer’s time in Toronto is likely at an end.
Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reports Reimer has asked the Toronto Maple Leafs to trade him and he speculates the Leafs and Winnipeg Jets were in discussion during the NHL Draft about making a swap.
Reimer is from Morweena, Manitoba near Winnipeg and would join Ondrej Pavelec as the goaltending duo there. Al Montoya is an unrestricted free agent come July 1 and while Reimer is set to be a restricted free agent on that date, returning home to play would give him a strong chance at unseating Pavelec for the No. 1 job there.
Reimer was unseated as Maple Leafs starter last season by Jonathan Bernier. The season started with the two in competition with each other, but coach Randy Carlyle clearly sided with Bernier as his top guy.
Bernier’s performance dictated he be the man as he had a .922 save percentage in 55 games. Reimer backed him up with a .911 save percentage in 36 games. While that stat is average, it would’ve made for a marked improvement on what Pavelec did with Winnipeg as he put up a .901 mark in 57 games.
Meanwhile, the Leafs have already been spotted courting Martin Brodeur to potentially be Bernier’s new backup/mentor. Reminder: his numbers were also worse than Reimer’s last season (.901 save percentage in 39 games).
The Winnipeg Jets host the Edmonton Oilers at the 2016 Heritage Classic at Investors Group Field this afternoon. You can watch it on NHL Network, Sportsnet, TVA Sports 2 or NHL.tv at 3 p.m. ET.
With that in mind, let’s get prepped with super-important stats about unhealthy food, interesting photos and fun facts.
Want to get an in-depth look at the rivalry between the Jets and the Oilers? NHL.com and Sportsnet both have some great retrospectives.
The CBC notes that there was rain ending in the morning but it’s expected to be cloudy. Overall, sounds like a nice climate for an outdoor hockey game. NHL.com’s Nick Cotsonika wonders if the sun’s glare might cause some issues.
The Arizona Coyotes received (mostly) good news on Sunday: Mike Smith‘s injury isn’t believed to be “severe,” even if he’s considered week-to-week, according to reporters including TSN’s Darren Dreger.
While Louis Domingue and Justin Peters isn’t the sort of goalie duo that will make shooters think twice about firing the puck, they’re both at least fairly experienced netminders.
(Considering Smith’s struggles with injuries and inconsistency, it’s not surprising that Arizona invested in a little insurance in Peters.)
Domingue is slated to start in net for the Coyotes against the New York Rangers on Sunday. It’s been a bumpy start for him so far, but Arizona has at least a theoretical advantage in that the Rangers played on Saturday.
As far as when Smith will be back? Well here’s a slight idea.
Dave Tippett does not think Mike Smith will be ready for home game vs. Colorado on Oct. 29, but he is not far from getting back on the ice.
Chances are, plenty of hockey fans – and maybe some members of the Colorado Avalanche – were uttering that question after Saturday night.
Well, we know this about Shane Harper: he scored his first two NHL goals at age 27, helping the Florida Panthers beat the Colorado Avalanche 5-2.
You can watch both of Harper’s goals in the recap video:
Harper also drew enough ire from the Avalanche to get into a bit of a skirmish following a hit.
So, who is Shane Harper?
For one thing, he’s from Valencia, California and did not go drafted.
His best junior season came in 2009-10, when he scored 42 goals and 80 points for the Everett Silvertips. He’s become quite the seasoned AHL veteran since then, and while his numbers won’t wow you, he did do enough in 2014-15 to maybe turn a head or two. Harper scored 32 goals and 50 points for the Chicago Wolves that season.
You can tell his teammates were happy for him – gentle ribbing and all – when the media asked about his career milestone: