The 28-year-old goaltender’s career has been one of big ups and downs, but he’s set to enter the free agent market on a high note. After two disappointing campaigns, Reimer was one of the few silver linings on an otherwise dreary 2015-16 Maple Leafs until Toronto dealt him to the Sharks on Feb. 27. That move gave Reimer an opportunity to show what he could do with a strong team in front of him.
Reimer posted a 1.62 GAA and .938 save percentage in his eight regular season starts with San Jose and at one time his presence seemed to spark a goaltending controversy after Sharks coach Peter DeBoer refused to name his starter for the playoffs on March 25. Of course, ultimately the Sharks did stick with Martin Jones and that’s worked out for them, but the fact that Reimer could come in at the 11th hour and threaten a goaltender that was having a good season speaks to Reimer’s own success during his stint.
Once the Stanley Cup Final ends, Reimer will have completed a two-year, $4.6 million contract and find himself eligible to test the unrestricted free agent market for the first time. While his inconsistent history makes him something of a gamble, he’s still likely to get a significant raise this summer and that might price him out of San Jose, which is paying Martin Jones $3 million annually through 2017-18 and will want to factor in the distinct possibility that Jones will expect a big payday after his current contract plays out.
One possible destination for Reimer would be Calgary as the Flames’ goalie situation was a problem in 2015-16 and of the four netminders they used at the NHL level, only Joni Ortio is still under their control as a restricted free agent. Plus Brian Burke is the team president and was a supporter of Reimer when they were both a part of the Maple Leafs’ organization. Perhaps they’ll be working together again in 2016-17.
Sometimes the same goal can leave different fans saying “finally” for different reasons.
It’s been an awful Wednesday for the Toronto Maple Leafs, especially James Reimer. It turns out the fourth goal allowed finally shuttled him from the Maple Leafs’ net.
The 2014-15 season has been cruel for Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Ryan Murray, who’s still-young career has been crippled by injuries. Many Blue Jackets fans probably said “finally” when he got his first goal of the year, the same tally that chased Reimer tonight:
It’s plausible that we’ll see better days for both players, and maybe even their teams.
The reason for that is simple: Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer was superb tonight.
“(Reimer) was the first star. Simple as that,” Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said in his postgame press conference. “The number of saves that he made in the third period and quality saves. You know, a lot of time you’ll get a lot of stuff from the outside, but they had some pointblank chances and he stood tall to the task, that’s for sure.”
Reimer struggled mightily last season, but through five games he now has a 3-1-0 record, 2.47 GAA, and .929 save percentage, which is more impressive than the numbers starting goaltender Jonathan Bernier has put up thus far. That being said, Bernier has been great lately too, allowing just one goal in his last two starts.
Toronto is on a three-game winning streak to improve to 6-4-1 this season.
Editor’s Note: PHT’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $1,200 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $275. Starts Wednesday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Jonathan Drouin is progressing as the Tampa Bay Lightning were likely hoping when they selected him third overall in 2013, as he’s one of the finalists for the QMJHL’s MVP. (The Canadian Press)
San Jose Sharks injury updates: Brad Stuart is nearing a return, while it appears as if Raffi Torres is still struggling. (CSNBayArea.com)
Ryane Clowe gave Michael Ryder some odd advice regarding his goal slump. (Newark Star-Ledger)
Newly re-signed Colorado Avalanche forward John Mitchell underwent an X-ray on his back following a failed check last night. The team is expected to provide more information regarding his status later today. (Denver Post)
The “heartbeat” of the Edmonton Oilers (Matt Hendricks) suffered a leg injury last night. Both Hendricks and Nail Yakupov (ankle) are considered day-to-day. (Oilers’ Twitter feed)
Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Tim Gleason delivered a questionable hit on Detroit Red Wings blueliner Brendan Smith. (The Score has the GIF)
Finally, a random cool photo, via Getty Images at the Ducks – Capitals game last night: