James Reimer Signs for 2 years, $2.3 million per season

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The Maple Leafs and James Reimer have followed the league-wide theme of arbitration avoidance by arriving at a 2-year contract agreement worth $2.3 million per season.

It’s difficult to know how much praise is deserved for signing good-value RFA deals because the leverage is so tilted in favour of the club, but this is another cap-friendly deal for the Leafs and it seems to comes in for less than Reimer would’ve been awarded in arbitration.

Reimer and Bernier will be earning a combined $5.2 million last season and that’s excellent value for a tandem that stands among the best in the League. Bernier will be an RFA at the end of the 2014-15 season, Reimer a UFA at the end of the 2015-16 season.

[quote_box_right]”It gives James a little bit of security + shows we still believe he is a goaltender that can continue to improve. He never said: ‘Get me out of here,’ said Nonis. What he did ask was for us to explore opportunities …. We did. I went back to him+said: ‘I don’t have something that I would feel comfortable doing+we prefer to sign you.We both felt (Reimer) coming back was good for us+for him. He wouldn’t have signed…if he didn’t feel comfortable.

Kevin McGran in speaking with Nonis on the phone this afternoon[/quote_box_right]

We’re not sure if Reimer actually formally submitted a trade request, but it’s pretty clear there is no situation in the League where the Leafs can move Reimer to and have him guaranteed more opportunity than he will receive in Toronto. For now, he’ll need to show up to the camp ready to battle Jonathan Bernier for starts. If he remains second fiddle, injuries or underperformance will probably create an opening somewhere at some point throughout the season. This is a very trade-friendly contract if Reimer performs when he gets his opportunities this year, especially with the extra year of term tagged on at a good price.

Even better, it’d be great if Reimer and Bernier fought tooth and nail for starts in Toronto and gave them the type of goaltending the Leafs were getting in the earlier parts of the 2013-14 season.

As Anthony Petrielli explored earlier in the off-season in an article entitled “Trading James Reimer – Not So Fast,” this is probably the best thing for the organization for the time being in terms of hedging their bets and ensuring good goaltending again next season. His first season was nothing short of superlative, but Jonathan Bernier has some work left to do to prove he’s a year-in, year-out heavy lifter in net.

Jonathan Bernier’s past workload
SeasonGP% of Season
2010-201125/8230%
2011-201216/8220%
2012-201314/4829%
2013-201455/8267%

Reimer has had two 30+ game seasons where he’s posted a save percentage of .920 or above, with two seasons (2011-12 – .900; 2013-14 – .911) mixed in where his play has fallen off; in both cases there were head injuries precipitating the drop off.

Reim time isn’t over yet in Toronto yet, from the looks of things. Give ’em hell, Optimus.

  • Black_Hawk

    If you can get a good deal for him then give him his wish and move him but i like that we got a solid duo in net for another year or maybe 2

  • Bruffins

    Yay! April Reimer is back!

    seriously though, good for James and the Leafs

  • Burtonboy

    Its kinda interesting how everyone is avoiding arb. Ian Pulver ,a long time agent and NHLPA executive was on the Hayes show yesterday and he was saying arbitration has essentially had the effect of forcing sides to negotiate . Neither side wants to leave the decision in 3rd party hands so deals get done beforehand in most cases

  • Jay31

    Hope we keep him but if not, trading him would work out too considering the term, would’ve been harder if he were a pending ufa

  • Xxxxxnew

    Probably has evolved that way since the cap.

  • Reimocerous

    So I’m still good to keep the name. Good deal.

  • Bring the Cup Home

    we could have gotten a king’s ransom in return for reimer and franson if we traded them two months into last season as a package.  not so much anymore.  i say we keep ’em and see how they do.

  • Bigfoot_for_1C

    Great deal for us

  • Xxxxxnew

    Just looking at some goalie numbers.

  • Burtonboy

    Xxxxxnew I would say thats part of it too.

  • StanSmith

    If he does still want to be traded he will have to use whatever opportunity he has to show he can play at the level he did before last season.  I can’t see anyone risking $2.3 mill on him right now so a Leaf he will remain I’m sure.

  • Loric76

    https://twitter.com/mirtle

    https://twitter.com/mirtle/status/492781059629924354

    Yes some in Leafs org blame Reimer for what happened at end of year. Which is part of why they deserved to go.

  • Burtonboy

    Reims is battler. He’s coming camp with every intention of trying to take back that # 1 spot .

  • Xxxxxnew

    Well that’s interesting.

  • Burtonboy

    Xxxxxnew Indeed .

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/hottakery https://twitter.com/hottakery/status/492781090147299329
    Damien Cox knows the truth: James Reimer just got vastly overpaid. FRESH FROM THE TAKERY. http://t.co/xgDNlcIfYK

  • Xxxxxnew

    Stop sugar coating it Mirtle. Spill.

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Loric76 He was bad.
    But so was the team for large swaths of the year.
    Best thing that happened long term for this team might be the collapse to miss the playoffs.

  • Pent_House

    Burtonboy I wasn’t sure where the guy was being sarcastic and where he wasn’t.

  • Loric76

    Alec Brownscombe Loric76 Agreed.  I’m tired of saying that tho.  3 years running

  • Cloud09

    Burtonboy Love Hot Takes.

  • Burtonboy

    Pent_House Burtonboy Its satire . He’s a piece of work this guy . Funny stuff

  • Cloud09

    Alec Brownscombe Loric76 Saint Reimer!

  • LeafsGuru

    So cap geek say we have 4.3 mil of cap space with a 23 man roster and gardiner is still to be signed. So do we sign him for 5 years at 4 mil?

  • Cloud09

    Real happy Reimer is back. Bernier/Reimer is still going to be on of the best goalie tandems in the NHL and the best bang for your buck bar none.

  • MaxwellHowe

    Loric76 I think Mirlte and Cox need to settle this on the playground

  • Loric76

    MaxwellHowe Loric76 Burke’s barn is available

  • Pent_House

    LeafsGuru We have over 5 I think once Smith and Orr are on the Marlies

  • MaxwellHowe

    LeafsGuru really there’s even more space because a few forwards will be dropped (and Frannie will be traded I hope I hope I hope)

  • LeafsGuru

    Yup

  • 4evrblue

    Welcome back James. 
    Love this guy and hope he gives Burns a run for his money

  • Burtonboy

    Quote from Reimer at the end of the past season 

    Asked how he would remember his tour in Toronto, one that began with a 32-save performance on that secretive January day, Reimer gushed,

    “Wonderful, just wonderful.
    “I’m so blessed to be able to do what I do. And as hard as it gets at the end of the day you’re playing hockey in the NHL. Obviously, I would’ve liked to be better and I have high expectations for myself and I expect to be the best and get results, but I love this game, I love what I do and to be able to do it for three and a half years now for the best organization in the world it’s been an absolute pleasure

  • 4evrblue

    Burtonboy  Heres to 2 more years of success

  • Loric76

    4evrblue Burtonboy we may actually see a 1A/1A situation this season, if Randy doesn’t fuck it up

  • 4evrblue

    Loric76 4evrblue Burtonboy  Had to bring me down with the Randy reminder didn’t you Loric

  • Loric76

    4evrblue Loric76 Burtonboy lol sorry.  He’ll be gone soon enough

  • 4evrblue

    Loric76 4evrblue Burtonboy  I love how you always know how to bring me right back up again!! lol

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/sunhornby https://twitter.com/sunhornby/status/492786384948563969
    GM Dave Nonis: “If there was any lingering doubt (about a Reimer beef with Carlyle and Leafs) he’d have asked for one year. He wanted two”.

  • mcloki

    Good For you James. Don’t let the bastards get you down.

  • Cloud09

    Burtonboy Fuck you’re quick BB. Good for Reimer, keep proving the MSM wrong.

  • mike_84

    Does the fact he’s on a two year deal increase his trade value? i think it does

  • Burtonboy

    Cloud09 Burtonboy That’s what the wife says lol

  • Jay31

    Would you give Gardiner a two-year “show me” deal or something like JVR’s deal?

  • LeafsForLife

    I am very happy Optimus is back!! Im sure he will bring it this year and will have a far better defence in front of him, excluding Franson of course. I am looking forward to be able to continue wearing my Optimus sweater!!!

  • Alec Brownscombe

    Burtonboy Cynical take on this is he’s more desirable in a trade with a 2 year deal.

  • mcloki

    Burtonboy Pent_House May have to start following the guy.

  • wiski

    mcloki https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1jzhLtt_pGQ

  • Loric76

    Man I’m so conflicted.
    On one hand, the Leafs have made smart move after smart move after smart move this off season.  Shanny in.  Nylander drafted.  Komarov back.  Bottom six made up of cheap short term high reward low risk types.  Poulin out.  Louiselle out.  Dubas in.  Franson signed cheap.  Reimer signed cheap.  Gardiner will be signed cheap.

    On the other hand, Randy has been retained.

    Which side outweighs the other?

  • Pent_House

    Loric76

    Give him another shot. He deserves one for bringing this team back to the play-offs

  • MaxwellHowe

    Alec Brownscombe Burtonboy and……he wants guaranteed money, that as well.  Saying I want one year and I’ll take my chances from there ain’t the wisest move