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Toronto re-signs goalie James Reimer to three-year, $5.4 million deal

Jun 9, 2011, 1:01 PM EDT

James Reimer AP

Last year’s biggest surprise in Toronto was that the Leafs weren’t a terrible team. Much of that was thanks to the rise of goaltender James Reimer. Reimer seized the starting role after Jean-Sebastien Giguere proved to be mostly ineffective and Jonas Gustavsson was both ineffective and often injured. With Reimer proving himself worthy, the Leafs rewarded the impending restricted free agent with a three-year $5.4 million contract extension.

Leafs GM Brian Burke made the right move in locking up Reimer but giving him such a deal works out nicely for both sides. If he plays well, the Leafs get a bargain and Reimer makes good money to be a hero in Toronto. If he struggles, then the Leafs can squirrel him away in the minor leagues without much pain delivered to the salary cap. With a hit of $1.8 million per season, that’s not too bad.

Reimer did great in sporting a 20-10-5 record with a 2.60 goals against average and a .920 save percentage. Without Reimer, the Leafs likely sputter to a bottom five finish in the league and hand the Boston Bruins yet another extreme lottery draft selection in doing so. Reimer’s play kept the Leafs in the talk for the playoffs until the final week of the season and has given Leafs fans hope that they’ve got their goalie of the future.

The Leafs will now head into next season with the goalie rotation set to be Reimer as the starter and Gustavsson as the backup. Failing that, young guys like Ben Scrivens and Jussi Rynnas will be waiting in the wings in the AHL. Some may be critical of the Leafs for a lot of things, but one area where they’re all set at throughout the organization is in goal. Here’s to hoping that “Optimus Reim” can build on his legend in Toronto.

Now that he’s being paid like a top goalie he’s going to have to make sure that his first season wasn’t an aberration

  1. govtminion - Jun 9, 2011 at 1:18 PM

    Very good move by Toronto. That’s not a huge cap hit, so if Reimer ends up being a flash-in-the-pan they’re not out a ton of money, and he’ll be around for three years so if he does end up being the big-time goalie they (and I) think he’ll be, they can develop him and give him the big bucks later once they’re sure of what they have. Might the Leafs have finally made a good move in goal since CuJo? It truly is a new day in Leafs country. Looking forward to seeing what they’re building there next season.

  2. habsman - Jun 9, 2011 at 9:28 PM

    I’m surprised that Brian Burke had the time to sign him. You know, him being so busy handing out discipline in the playoffs and all.

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