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James Reimer Signs With Florida Panthers

Goaltender James Reimer has signed a five-year contract with the Florida Panthers for $3.4 million per season. Reimer spent the first six years and most of his NHL career with the Toronto Maple Leafs before being traded to the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline in February.


James Reimer Signs

The Leafs drafted James Reimer in the 4th round of the 2006 NHL Entry Draft. The 99th overall selection became the team’s starter midway through the 2010-2011 season after poor play and injury hindered the play of the Leafs other goaltenders, Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Jonas Gustavsson. In his rookie year in the NHL, the Leaf fans nicknamed him “Optimus Reim” and “the Statue”. He continued to show impressive results earning him the NHL Rookie of the Month award in March of 2011. He recorded a 2.6 goals against average and .921 save percentage in 35 starts.

Injury Issues

Reimer’s NHL career has been largely impacted by the amount of time he has taken off due to injury. He missed 19 games in the beginning of the 2011-12 season due to a hit from Brian Gionta, as well as an upper body injury in late March of this season costing him the rest of the season. Shortly after this, he faced an MCL strain which took 2 weeks to heal.

Despite these injuries, Reimer has continuously come back to show us why he was a starter. After the hit from Gionta he came back in February with back-to-back shutouts. When he returned from his MCL strain, he would win his first three games back as a starter. Reimer helped lead a team who struggled to reach the playoffs since 2004 in his 2012-13 season. Unfortunately, the Leafs would fall in the first round. He recorded a regular season career best of a 2.46 goals against average and .924 save percentage in 34 games.

We have seen many goalies come and go from the Leafs bench over the past seasons, with Reimer sharing the net with Giguere, Gustavsson, Vesa Toskala, Scrivens, and Bernier, who eventually took over Reimer’s starting position in the 2013-14 season, making it a displeasing time for Reimer as back up.

Last Season

Reimer stuck it out in Toronto for the 2015-16 recording a 1.62 goals-against average and .952 save percentage on a struggling Leafs team. That is, until he was traded to the San Jose Sharks in February of 2016 two days prior to the trade deadline. Reimer showed an ability to adapt to a new club when he went 3-1-0 in his first five games. Two of those wins were shutouts. He went 6-2-0 with just 13 goals against.

Reimer signed his last deal with the Leafs in 2014 with an AAV of $2.3 million over two years. With Reimer’s proneness to injuries, it is hard to say whether or not he will be a strong asset to the team who decides to sign him.

Reimer has appeared in 215 NHL games with a career 2.79 goals against average and a .914 save percentage.


Main Photo: WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 16: Goalie James Reimer #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs follows the puck during the first period against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on March 16, 2014 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)



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