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Reimer feels ‘doubted’ after Bernier trade

Jun 24, 2013, 9:02 AM EDT

James Reimer AP

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been actively trying to add a goaltender for quite some time now. On Sunday, they finally did so by acquiring 24-year-old Jonathan Bernier from the Los Angeles Kings.

Bernier has the potential to become a great number one goaltender, so it’s not hard to see why any team would want him. At the same time, incumbent starter James Reimer, 25, is coming off of a strong season and the easy conclusion to draw from this move is that they still didn’t feel comfortable enough in him to allow the old status quo to be maintained.

“It makes you feel a bit doubted as a goalie,” Reimer admitted to the Toronto Sun.

When asked who he was being doubted by, Reimer added, “Is it by the coaches? Is it by the GM? Is it by the media? You could drive yourself crazy asking yourself things like that.

“You just have to focus on what you can control and believe in yourself.”

Reimer said that he was surprised by the trade. He knew for a while that Toronto was looking to add a veteran, but to bring in someone roughly his age?

“Well, obviously they have their reasons,” he said.

The Maple Leafs likely wanted to hedge their bets rather than go all-in on Reimer, but this trade doesn’t necessarily mean Bernier will end up being the long-term starter in Toronto. As highly regarded as Bernier is, Reimer can’t be dismissed. He owns two of the top three single-season save percentages in Maple Leafs’ history.

“When I look back on it, there were times I could have played better,” Reimer said. “But I really feel I gave the guys a chance.

“Overall, I felt I played well this past season. I feel like I’ve established myself as a No. 1 goalie in this league.”

At the same time, he thinks the competition will make him a better goaltender.

Sometimes getting two talented goaltenders to compete for the top job ends up creating a controversy that can become a distraction, but when this kind of situation works, the team is richly rewarded for it.


Bernier embraces new challenge in Toronto

  1. ibieiniid - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:09 AM

    what do we hear first?:
    Bernier trade rumors or requests/Reimer trade rumors or requests. bets anybody?

    LA got out of their situation of 2 guys wanting one starting gig and just handed it over to TOR. I’ll prepare for another story titled “GM admits dealing Bernier very difficult” within a couple years.

  2. beergold - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:10 AM

    No sweat young James remember this is Laff Land where nothing is professional on or off the ice and mediocraty is always good enough for the owners.

    • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:38 AM

      I know it’s tough to get used to, both for Loafs fans and non-Loafs fans alike, but Nonis seems to be giving the team some semblance of credibility and competitiveness. I mean, let’s be honest, it is still Toronto so the wheels will fall off sooner or later, but the latest moves and rumblings in the Center of the Known Universe has certainly piqued my curiosity.

  3. burgh916 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    I felt the trade was weird. I’m not a big fan of “potential” in goalies – if you’re going the trade route. Look how Lindback worked out for the Lightning, A LOT changes when they get tasked with a starters amount of games, and I for one feel overvaluing them because of that isn’t the brightest move.
    I thought Toronto would go after a solid veteran to push Reimer, and teach him. I understand they were weaker with Scrivens back there, both young goalies… Trading for another young goalie with just more “potential” is just odd.
    Not to mention Bernier wanted out of the backup role and more into a sure starters gig.
    I feel as if both teams did ALL goalies involved a disservice here.

  4. jacketsfan7 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    I would too but he’s a fantastic goaltender with a bright future

  5. kingsforever - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    While Bernier is better, this is not fair to Reims

    • dropthepuckeh - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      This is professional hockey and it is big business,”fair” has nothing to do with it. If he feels disrespected than he will have ever opportunity to win the starting job. He prob should have felt doubted when he let in all of those goals to Boston in the final two minutes.

      • jpelle82 - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        reimer is a rfa after the 2013-2014 season i believe. bernier is a rfa right now. bernier is gonna get at least 4 years and way more than reimer is making now. theyve got reimer to play maybe 20 games next year unless bernier craps the bed. after that, they can assess what to do with him (someone will want him). i get it, bernier is a 1st rd pick, scrivens took the long road to the nhl and is older, played less blah blah blah. they have similar save % .910 and .912 and scrivens is probably always going to be a backup in the league but bernier has the pedigree to be a number 1 and this is his chance. i feel like bernier wanted less competition probably, reimer hopefully wont just lay down like he did in game 7 vs the bruins.

  6. jpelle82 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:51 AM

    if i were bernier i would be feeling doubted.

    • dueman - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM

      Why? Because he asked to be traded and got it? He’s quite happy going to Toronto. Now he has an opportunity to become a starter, or at the very least play a lot more games.

      • jpelle82 - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        i would figure he wanted to go somewhere where there was less competition. reimer is good and playing better lately (minus game seven which wasnt ALL his fault). the wild wouldve been perfect, now it looks like they are gonna settle and resign backstrom.

  7. capsfan19 - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    He should! Time to get your grind on man!

  8. sjsharks66 - Jun 24, 2013 at 10:57 AM

    Yeah but when you cant hold a 4-1 lead with less than 10 minutes left…. What do you expect?

    • dueman - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      The whole Team is to blame for that meltdown, not just Reimer. Also this trade has been in the works for a long time, so the Boston outcome has nothing to do with it. They have been trying to get this done for a couple seasons now.

    • 19to77 - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:01 PM

      I’d expect my GM to address the sh*t-awful defense in front of me, for starters. Reimer didn’t lose that game, the guys in front of him did.

    • hockeyflow33 - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:27 PM

      The puck goes through 5 guys before it gets on net so there are 15 other guys with blame as well

  9. micklethepickle - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    I’m confused by this – I thought Reimer had a good playoff series against BOS, can any Leafs fans tell me how he was during the regular season? He’s still a young guy, could really come into his own. How good were the guys that TOR gave to LAK for Bernier? I read the details of the deal, but it seems like Toronto really got railed in this one… unless Bernier ends up being Quick 2.0.

    • dueman - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:57 AM

      This was a great deal for Toronto. In Bernier they get a 24 year old, highly rated goalie, with great stats, who last year put up a 1.88 goals against average. In return they gave up Scrivens, who has never had a winning season, and last year put up a 2.69 GAA. They also gave up Frattin, who looked impressive when he first entered the league, after tearing up the AHL, but shortly after moving up he tore his meniscus in one or both knees. Then shortly after coming back from surgery, he got another meniscus tear in a different spot. He’s put up 15 goals, and 13 assists, in 82 games spread over 3 seasons (2 really, as he only played 1 game in 2010). The second round pick in this trade is the most valuable piece really, and even that has strings, as the pick is Toronto’s choice of either 2014, or 2015, which ever they figure will be worth the least! So no, Toronto never got railed as you put it.

      • micklethepickle - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:00 PM

        Ah, i see. Thanks for the info – i wasn’t trying to bag on the Leafs, I was just honestly perplexed as to why they’d give up (what seemed like) a good forward and a pick for a goalie with a relatively short resume when they have Reimer, who was pretty impressive in the post season. You learn something new every day :)

      • dueman - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        It does seem like a lot until you really look at it, but I do think that it was fair for both teams. Toronto got a goalie that they have been after for quite a while, and LA took care of a situation that needed to be taken care of. Frattin might not be the player that he was projected to be, but he still likes to throw his body around, which the fans will like. As for Scrivens, well, when he is on, he’s on, but when he’s not, you’ll pull your hair out watching him. Let’s just say that he’s a little unorthadoxed. :) Did LA improve their team? Like I said, I think it comes down to that second round pick to figure that one out. I do think that Reimer and Bernier will work well together though, as they are both real character guys.

  10. bardown66 - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:06 PM

    Reimer almost carried the leafs to a round one win. He was the only reason it went seven games. Outplayed rask until the game 7 meltdown by the entire team. The trade will work out IMO. One of the goalies will be forced to outplay the other and take that spot.

  11. r4n6er - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:26 PM

    Doubted…wonder why after letting 3 goals with 7 minutes left.

  12. vanfoodman - Jun 25, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    I don’t see this as a healthy situation, especially in Toronto. Reimer had a very good year and an even better playoff. I would have thought a veteran goalie with starting experience would have been the best way to reward Reimer for his excellent play, foster his growth and promote team stability. With Bernier you now have two wannabe number ones and a potential controversy after every loss. Look for this to be an on going distraction for the entire team until one of them is traded. Thumbs down to Nonis in his first major move as GM.

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