When James Reimer
took over the Leafs goaltending January 1st, the club stood 27th in the NHL standings.
When the season ended, the Leafs had risen to 20th.
Signed by the Leafs to a three-year deal, Reimer is being asked to make up another half a dozen or more spots and break the Leafs’ seven-year-playoff slump.
The reports indicate the deal is somewhere south of the $2 million mark per season.
As a restricted free agent, Reimer’s negotiation leverage was miniscule but should he sit atop of the Leafs goaltending heap two or three years from now, they will gladly make him rich as a pharaoh.
Reimer’s numbers were a distance removed from the league leaders but nonetheless credible. His goals against 2.60, 20-10-5 record with three shutouts and .921 save percentage made the Leafs’ goaltending playoff calibre.
“He earned the opportunity to play at the NHL level this past season and he made the most of it with his outstanding play,” said Leafs GM Brian Burke. “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.”
Reimer played for Canada at the World Championships with a 3-0-0 record, a 2.04 goals against average and a .920 save percentage.
The Leafs now retain Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson
at the NHL level. No decision has been yet made on whether to tender a contract offer to J.S. Giguere whose season was wrecked by hip and groin injuries.