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Familiar Faces in New Places: James Reimer

We hardly got to know you, Reims.

Florida Panthers v Tampa Bay Lightning Photo by Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The James Reimer trade remains one of the weirder moves the Sharks made last season. Yes, San Jose certainly needed a backup netminder as Alex Stalock floundered and Martin Jones’ workload piled up, but once the Sharks got to the playoffs Reimer saw action just once: in relief.

Reimer only played eight regular season games for San Jose and posted a sterling .938 save percentage while he was here. He finished his time with the Sharks with a 6-2-0 record before signing on with the Panthers to split time with Roberto Luongo. San Jose gave up a third rounder to get Reimer, which may be small potatoes in the grand scheme of things, but seems a high price for eight games of work.

As it stands, Reimer may not have gotten his chance to be a starting netminder but he has already started five games this year as Florida looks to alleviate Luongo’s workload. Reimer got a five-year deal with the Panthers, suggesting they are looking to build a successful netminding tandem in Florida (the anti Dallas Stars, if you will). That’s a pretty good model and they’ve got the goalies to make it happen.

Statistical Profile

We don’t have any pretty HERO charts for goaltenders, but we do have this neat chart from corsica.hockey, one of my favorite hockey websites.

Over the past three seasons, most of the goals Reimer has allowed have come right in the “scoring chance area.” That makes a lot of sense if you saw the Toronto Maple Leafs play ice hockey the past few seasons and bodes well for Reimer going forward. He doesn’t allow many weak goals, so as long as you can keep the opposition out of the slot you’re in business.

From the Archive

On the day of the Reimer trade:

So what does Reimer have to offer? Long a fan favorite, Reimer dragged the rotting corpse of the Maple Leafs to the playoffs just a few short years ago and, despite injury problems, has been pretty good over the past few seasons. Since the 2012-13 season, Reimer has posted an even-strength save percentage of .9247. This season he's been otherworldly, notching a save percentage of .9378 — whether that's who he is the rest of the way remains to be season. He has a career save percentage of .9252 in over 200 games played.

He's an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, but for now all that should matter to Sharks fans is what he can do for San Jose this season. Reimer has yet to play more than 40 games in a season (the lockout season of 2012-13) but he has already played 32 this season. Some of that can be attributed to playing backup duty to Jonathan Bernier, but another sum of it can be credited to injury.