The San Jose Sharks have signed free agent goaltender James Reimer to a two year-year contract worth $4.5 million. The contract carries a salary-cap hit of $2.25 million.
Reimer in San Jose, two years, $2.25M AAV https://t.co/UKBjmKzJ7H
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 28, 2021
James Reimer Signed With the Sharks
Over his 11-year NHL career, Reimer suited up for the Toronto Maple Leafs, San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers, and Carolina Hurricanes. In that span, he accumulated 385 career games. His overall record sits at 173-131-43 with a .913% save percentage and 2.79 GAA.
Last season, Reimer went 15-5-2 with a .906% save percentage and 2.66 GAA in Carolina. He started just 21 games, his lowest total across his career, as rookie Alex Nedeljkovic slowly stole the net. The Hurricanes also had Petr Mrazek in the mix, but because of injuries he only played 12 games too. Originally drafted in the fourth round, 99th overall of the 2006 NHL draft by the Leafs, the 33-year old looks to re-establish himself as a go-to goaltender moving forward.
What This Means for the Future
Three seasons into a five-year contract James Reimer signed with the Panthers, the club traded him to Carolina. He played out his final two seasons of the deal with the Hurricanes before entering free agency this summer. For Reimer, the situation in both cities was relatively similar from his perspective. Reimer was one of two or three guys in a goaltending tandem in each of the last five seasons. He maxed out at 42 games started, and bottomed at just 21 starts last season. In Florida, he split with Roberto Luongo. In Carolina, Mrazek and Nedeljkovic. However, in either case, Reimer never took over as the “number 1 guy”, or even as a “1-A” guy in a “1-A / 1-B” sort of system. Though he started roughly half the games, Luongo and Mrazek (and now Nedeljkovic) were always the “starters”.
So, Reimer looks forward to an opportunity to take on more work and prove himself further. He quietly collected a respectable NHL resume over the last 11 seasons, too. His most recent seasons, though, leave more to be desired. Yes, he went 42-23-9 in that span, but barely scraped over the .900 mark for save percentage in two of those three seasons. His quality start percentage fell below .500 in two of the three years, too. In Carolina, he benefitted from a defensive-minded club that forced shots to the outside. And even then, he turned in a .476 percent quality starts ranking last year while going 15-5-2. That means, even though he was winning, he was underperforming more than half of the games he played. He hopes to bounce back and will need to if he is to have success in a system less defensive than Carolina’s.
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