Well it’s been a pretty successful week for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team has successfully avoided going to arbitration with goalie James Reimer. According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger the two sides have agreed on a new two year contract.
Reimer will earn approximately $2.3m each season under the new deal. This signing means far more to the Leafs' new staff members than Reimer. Having to search for a new backup goalie this close to the beginning of a new season would’ve been a very tough task in my opinion.
James Reimer is an excellent goalie. He still has plenty to learn, but has also proven he can play under pressure. He covers his angles really well and is no stranger to taking more than 20 shots per game. Reimer had a very frustrating season last year in his position as the backup goalie. He posted a 12-16-1 record and ended with a .921 save percentage. Although these numbers are far below expectations, I think we all know that Reimer wasn’t the only one to blame for last season’s collapse. Leafs starting goalie Jonathan Bernier had quite a few horrendous games last season as well.
However, that’s all in the past and now with this new contract, Reimer can once again begin improving his skills. The Toronto Maple Leafs must start winning games consistently early in the season if they hope to get in the playoffs.
I believe it’s going to be a very difficult season for the Toronto Maple Leafs. A strong start is critical to this team’s success. Because I believe the Leafs will not be able to keep Reimer long-term. I believe Reimer agreed to this new deal to make it look tempting to other potential buyers when the trade deadline comes around this year. Reimer wants to be a starting goaltender for a team. He won’t get that with the Leafs since goalie Jonathan Bernier has locked up that position.
I really don’t believe that’s fair after Reimer had that amazing playoff series against the Bruins in 2013. That being said, I’m sure Reimer will be hoping to be dealt to another team at the trade deadline this year. Unless of course, the Leafs give him more ice time and persuade him to stay. But I don’t see that happening.
I hope the Leafs use Reimer while they have him and don’t end up tiring Bernier out late in the season. If Bernier gets injured again, this team will be in big trouble.