Clever title, eh? In all seriousness, it was refreshing to have something Leaf-related to discuss after weeks of playoff, suspensions and Winnipeg talk.
The Leafs made it official by signing James Reimer to a multi-year contract extension worth $1.8 million per season, not including bonuses. In half a season as a 22-year old rookie, Reimer posted outstanding numbers and showed signs of becoming the Leafs’ legitimate number one goalie of the future. To be fair, that can’t be determined by 37 games at the NHL level (the salary figure takes that into account), but the Leafs could be sitting on a potential steal for the next three seasons and at a $1.8 millionÂ cap hit they bear pretty minimal risk should the unthinkable happen (i.e. Reimer’s rookie season ends up being an anomaly).
With a .921, Reimer is tenth in save percentage among goalies who played thirty games or more last season. The nine goalies ahead of him ranged in salary from 2.8 million (Rinne) to 10 million (Luongo) and average $5.5 million/season. If Reimer posts a SV% in the neighbourhood of what he did last season, the Leafs are sitting on a veritable bargain at the most important position on the ice. The unshakable quality about Reimer’s mental game combined with a grounded, grateful attitude certainly gives hope he won’t fall victim to a sophomore slip. Reimer seems like an unlikely candidate to forget what got him here in the first place.
Jonathan Quick got the same deal after his 2009-10 rookie campaign with Los Angeles Kings in which he posted a .907 save percentage (quite a bit lower than Reimer’s .921), but did so over a 72 game span. Carey Price after a 41-game, .912 2009-10 season received $2.5 million in 2010-11 and $3 million in 2011-12, but that was a sophomore season after he entered the league with a 52 game, .905 rookie season. Seems like assistant GM Claude Loiselle (who negotiated the contract) and Reimer’s party did a good job striking a balance with a deserved but cautious raise.
Lots of Leafs links for your perusal:
We finally have some hockey-related news to discuss in Toronto. Brian Burke deserves credit for locking up Reimer to a very fair and reasonable deal for both sides.
Jeffler looks at the good and bad of the new deal for James Reimer.
Jon S. at Puckin’ Eh approves of the contract extension.
Chemmy at The Leafs Nation caught up with prospect insider Corey Pronman of Puck Prospectus to preview the upcoming NHL Draft.
Michael at VLM doesn’t think the Leafs should cough up too much for Brad Richards this summer.
As reported by Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Brad Richards is unlikely to end up in the Big Apple.
Ron Guillet looks at the ups and downs that Jonas Gustavsson has faced in his young career.
Vancouver’s goaltending situation looks foggy heading into Game 5 versus Boston.
Other Hockey Links:
An in-depth look at special teams success around the NHL.
Will Luongo get the start in net for Vancouver in Game 5 or will Alain Vigneault turn to backup Cory Schneider? Do the Canucks have to win on Friday in order to have any chance at beating the Bruins?