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).