It appears as though Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brian Burke has locked up his goalie of the future with the signing of restricted free-agent James Reimer to a three-year contract on Thursday.
Reimer certainly made the most of a grand opportunity with the Leafs this past season when Jean-Sebastien Giguere sustained a groin injury and Jonas Gustavsson struggled. The 23-year-old Reimer, who began the season with Toronto's American Hockey League affiliate, would finish 20-10-5 with a 2.60 goals-against average, three shutouts and a .921 save percentage in 37 games in his inaugural NHL season.
"We are extremely pleased to have come to terms on this new deal with James and his agent, Ray Petkau," Burke said. "He earned the opportunity to play at the NHL level this past season and he made the most of it with his outstanding play. He really grabbed the net and never looked back. We are confident that his talent and strong work habits will be contributing factors to our team's success next season."
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed but the Globe and Mail reported it is worth $5.4 million over three years.
The native of Morweena, Man., ranked first among Leafs goaltenders in games played, wins, GAA, save percentage and shutouts. Among NHL rookie goaltenders, he placed second in save percentage, fourth in wins and sixth in goals-against average.
He was recalled four times from the AHL's Toronto Marlies in 2010-11, registering his first NHL shutout on Feb. 3 behind a 27-save performance against the Carolina Hurricanes. He managed a win in a season-high five consecutive road games from Feb. 8 through March 3 and his stellar play in March earned him the NHL's Rookie of the Month Award with a 9-4-1 record, one shutout, a 2.87 GAA and .913 save percentage.
He produced an 11-3-4 record when making 30 or more saves in a game in 2010-11.