Goalie James Reimer signed a five-year contract with the Florida Panthers on Friday. It reportedly is worth $17 million, an average annual value of $3.4 million.
Reimer had ups and downs in six seasons with the Toronto Maple Leafs but played a valuable role for the San Jose Sharks last season after he was acquired Feb. 27. He enabled coach Peter DeBoer to give starting goaltender Martin Jones some much-needed rest by starting eight games, going 6-2-0 with a 1.62 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. Three of his wins were shutouts.
Reimer's play allowed DeBoer to avoid overplaying Jones down the stretch, and his performance even kicked off a mini-controversy about who should start in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In the end, Jones got the call and played well enough to get the Sharks to the Stanley Cup Final. Reimer played 29:05 in San Jose's 24 playoff games.
Video: Chatting with newest Florida Panther, James Reimer
Reimer wants to be a starter, though he's never played more than the 40 regular-season games he played in 2015-16, and his combined GAA (2.31) was an NHL career-best. He was playing well with Toronto (11-12-7, 2.49 GAA, .918 save percentage) before the trade; his performance during his final season with the Maple Leafs and his brief stint with the Sharks sent him into his first shot at unrestricted free agency on a high note.