James Reimer traded to the San Jose Sharks

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BOSTON, MA - MAY 10 - Somehow James Reimer stops this Patrice Bergeron shot as the Toronto Maple Leafs play the Boston Bruins in game 5 of their first round NHL Stanley Cup playoffs series at TD Garden in Boston, May 10, 2013.

James Reimer and Jeremy Morin have been traded to the San Jose Sharks in exchange for Alex Stalock, Ben Smith and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2018 (becomes a third if SJ reaches the 2016 Stanley Cup Finals).

First thing’s first: Best of luck in San Jose, James Reimer, and as the person primarily responsible for Leafs fans’ only playoff memories of the last 11-going-on-12 years — thank you.

As for a first reaction to the trade: Well, it’s a return reflective of the limited market for goalies. Remove the expiring contracts coming back and it boils down to a conditional fourth rounder in 2018 in exchange for the Leafs’ best goalie. It’s underwhelming given Reimer has often done an underappreciated job for this franchise and was well liked by the fan base (for the most part), but the fact of the matter is that you’re working with a market of one or two playoff teams — in this case likely San Jose and St. Louis, the latter of which traded for Anders Nilsson last night for a fifth rounder and a goalie prospect — when it comes to trading a league-average, rental goaltender.

Reimer’s save percentage, for several months this season at or near the top of the league, had recently dropped to 17th in the NHL (.918) among goaltenders with more than 750 shots faced. That’s partly attributable to the team getting considerably worse in the last month between injuries and trades, but his play has also taken a step back of late. Should the Leafs have dealt Reimer a little earlier this season? It’s hard to know if it was possible or would’ve helped or not, given the limited goalie market.

James Reimer’s Recent Games

OppGASASVSV%
OTT3850.625
CGY422180.818
VAN219170.895
CHI732250.781
PHI215130.867
NSH326230.885

As Martin Jones’ backup, Alex Stalock has been a disappointment for the Sharks this season with a .884 save percentage in 13 starts. The 28-year-old’s best season came in 2013-14, when he was a .932 goalie over 24 starts, but he’s been around .900 or below since.

Between Jonathan Bernier and Alex Stalock, the Leafs now have two goalies in the bottom five among the 70 to face more than 100 shots this season. Stalock is dead last, Bernier is 66th, and Reimer is 28th (as mentioned, Reimer moves up to 17th among goalies to face more than 750 shots).

NHL Goalies by 2015-16 Save Percentage

minimum 100 saves faced, toggle for more results

 GoalieTeamSavesShots AgainstSave Percentage
1Matt MurrayPIT1051120.938
2Carey PriceMON3413650.934
3Thomas GreissNYI7227760.93
4Al MontoyaFLA3994290.93
5Robin LehnerBUF3994290.93
6Brian ElliottSTL8559200.929
7Corey CrawfordCHI1,4111,5210.928
8Petr MrazekDET1,0871,1710.928
9Michal NeuvirthPHI7157710.927
10Jhonas EnrothLA3003240.926
11Philipp GrubauerWAS3253510.926
12Cory SchneiderNJ1,3771,4890.925
13Roberto LuongoFLA1,2481,3490.925
14Braden HoltbyWAS1,2801,3860.924
15Ben BishopTB1,1431,2370.924
16Jake AllenSTL8649360.923
17Henrik LundqvistNYR1,3871,5020.923
18Jonathan QuickLA1,2241,3280.922
19Carter HuttonNSH2843080.922
20Reto BerraCOL3453740.922
21Jaroslav HalakNYI8289000.92
22Frederik AndersenANH7838510.92
23Marc-Andre FleuryPIT1,2031,3090.919
24Joonas KorpisaloCLS6286830.919
25Darcy KuemperMIN3934280.918
26Tuukka RaskBOS1,2961,4110.918
27Connor HellebuyckWPG6276830.918
28James ReimerTOR8459200.918
29Jeff ZatkoffPIT3523840.917
30Calvin PickardCOL3333630.917
31Ryan MillerVAN1,1421,2460.917
32Jacob MarkstromVAN5646150.917
33Chad JohnsonBUF8549310.917
34John GibsonANH5636140.917
35Scott DarlingCHI3864210.917
36Devan DubnykMIN1,2431,3550.917
37Craig AndersonOTT1,4751,6080.917
38Martin JonesSJ1,2631,3790.916
39Linus UllmarkBUF4955410.915
40Steve MasonPHI1,0221,1170.915
41Garret SparksTOR1181290.915
42Semyon VarlamovCOL1,1431,2490.915
43Louis DomingueARI7498200.913
44Cam TalbotEDM1,0801,1840.912
45Keith KinkaidNJ2793060.912
46Sergei BobrovskyCLS6867530.911
47Andrei VasilevskiyTB4174580.91
48Karri RamoCGY9401,0340.909
49Jonas GustavssonBOS4484930.909
50Anton KhudobinANH1571730.908
51Pekka RinneNSH1,2031,3250.908
52Michael HutchinsonWPG5205730.908
53Cam WardCAR9231,0160.908
54Antti RaantaNYR2642910.907
55Kari LehtonenDAL7127860.906
56Jimmy HowardDET5726310.906
57Mike CondonMON8989930.904
58Antti NiemiDAL9281,0260.904
59Ondrej PavelecWPG4585080.902
60Eddie LackCAR5856490.901
61Anders NilssonEDM6717450.901
62Ben ScrivensMON2272520.901
63Mike SmithARI5395980.901
64Joni OrtioCGY1421580.899
65Andrew HammondOTT3463850.899
66Jonathan BernierTOR6817580.898
67Curtis McElhinneyCLS3413810.895
68Anders LindbackARI3964430.894
69Jonas HillerCGY4995630.886
70Alex StalockSJ/TOR2522850.884

Ben Smith and Stalock are both UFAs at season’s end.  The 27-year-old Smith was a useful depth forward for Chicago once upon a time with a 14-goal, 26-point season in 2013-14, but he’s mostly spent his time in the AHL since. Smith carries a cap hit of $1,500,000, $950,000 of which can be buried in the AHL. The Sharks needed to move Smith in this deal to open up the cap space for Reimer as they were right up against the cap ceiling. 

Acquired in the one-for-one Richard Panik trade, Jeremy Morin will be headed to San Jose alongside Reimer in the deal to make the Standard Player Contracts line up. After a promising start in a Marlie uniform (five points in six games), he has just one point his last seven games and has been scratched on four occasions. He’s an RFA at season’s end and wasn’t in the team’s long-term plans.

Even though the feeling wasn’t always reciprocated under the prior management regime, Reimer never wavered in his desire to be in Toronto. Lou Lamoriello has assessed neither Reimer or Jonathan Bernier are likely to be the long-term solution in net, and it looks like Bernier has zero suitors at the moment. In the Leafs’ current position in their rebuild, Lamoriello would be remiss not to collect on whatever return he can garner for Reimer — and this is certainly a “whatever you can get” return. If there’s mutual interest, the two sides could revisit Reimer’s contract demands in July when he becomes a UFA.

In the meantime, it sounds like we’ll get a few looks at the likes of Garret Sparks and/or Antoine Bibeau as management looks to evaluate their options within the organization at the position.

Lou Lamoriello: We need to take a look at our minor-league goaltenders who are playing extremely well. As you all know, we have the best team, in our opinion, in the American Hockey League and we’ve had the best tandem there. We have to take a look at Garret Sparks right now. How he performed when he did come up earlier – it’s something that’s the real thing. We’re going to have to find out about Bibeau. These are all things that are in the process and you can’t do it when you have two goaltenders here in the NHL. I can remember back many years ago when we had to find out about a goaltender in the minors in New Jersey and it seemed to work out pretty well. You never know unless they’re given the opportunity. The only way you get an opportunity is if there’s a space available for that. The timing is you go as far as you can until you have to do that, especially when you have a quality player and a quality person as we had in Reimer. This is the best that could come about at this point.


The technical details below:

Ben Smith Career Stats:

SeasonTeamLgeGPGAPtsPIM
NHL Totals1812519444
2006-07Boston CollegeH-East421081810
2007-08Boston CollegeH-East4425255012
2008-09Boston CollegeH-East37611176
2009-10Boston CollegeH-East421621378
2010-11Rockford IceHogsAHL6319123116
2010-11Chicago BlackhawksNHL61010
2011-12Chicago BlackhawksNHL132020
2011-12Rockford IceHogsAHL3815163110
2012-13Rockford IceHogsAHL5427204713
2012-13Chicago BlackhawksNHL11010
2013-14Chicago BlackhawksNHL751412262
2014-15Chicago BlackhawksNHL615492
2014-15San Jose SharksNHL192350
2015-16San Jose Sharks*NHL60000
2015-16San Jose BarracudaAHL1482104

Alex Stalock Career Stats:

SeasonTeamLgeGPAPIMMinGASOGAAWLTSvsPct
2006-07U. of Minnesota-DuluthWCHA2341213647613.3451435600.881
2007-08U. of Minnesota-DuluthWCHA362821708532.35131768990.914
2008-09U. of Minnesota-DuluthWCHA4211025349052.132113810940.924
2009-10Worcester SharksAHL6134353415542.633919215220.908
2010-11Worcester SharksAHL4132239710502.631917410250.907
2010-11San Jose SharksNHL1003000010091
2011-12Worcester SharksAHL200119502.51110500.909
2011-12Stockton ThunderECHL6003601702.835101800.914
2011-12Peoria RivermenAHL300106211.13200530.964
2012-13Worcester SharksAHL381622819922.61716410280.912
2012-13San Jose SharksNHL20042202.86001110.846
2013-14San Jose SharksNHL240212523921.8712525320.932
2014-15San Jose SharksNHL220212375422.628924990.902
2015-16San Jose BarracudaAHL200122401.96200530.93
2015-16San Jose SharksNHL13106703302.943502520.884