What do the Sharks have in James Reimer?
Taking a look at what the former Leafs netminder has to offer.
With the Sharks acquisition of James Reimer yesterday, San Jose is very likely done heading towards trade deadline day (Monday). The Sharks picked up Reimer for next to nothing (a bad backup, a player that was never going to feature and a conditional fourth) and appear to have shored up their goaltending situation.
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.
If the rumors of Reimer looking for $6 million a year are true, it's no wonder the Leafs dealt him instead of trying to re-sign him. With Bernier already under contract, there's no way a goaltender with Reimer's injury history can be worth that kind of change — particularly since he's had his share of poor seasons. In 2014-15, Reimer's save percentage was a measly .9127 and in 2011-12 he posted a .9187.
By all accounts, Alex Stalock was a popular guy in the Sharks dressing room. Judging by the outpouring of support from the oh-so-cynical Leafs fans, it seems Reimer will soon be as well. He hasn't had much fun in Toronto, often being made the scapegoat for a team that he kept afloat — so hey, that's something for him and Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau to talk about right away!
With the Sharks playing a back-to-back today and tomorrow, it's very likely we'll see Reimer's debut in short order. Welcome to San Jose, James — let's go win a cup together.