Jun 24, 2013, 9:02 AM EDT
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.
- Quenneville opted for ‘fresh legs’ by inserting Nordstrom, Versteeg into lineup 8
- Video: Ducks hold off Blackhawks in Game 3 to take series lead 25
- (Video) PHT Extra: On Babcock, sticking to the process and housebuilding analogies 3
- Babcock predicts ‘pain’ for Leafs, who are a ‘massive, massive challenge’ 37
- Babcock wants to ‘put Canada’s team back on the map’ 46
- Flyers won’t trade Del Zotto, but ‘something will have to give’ on crowded blue line 21
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? 70
- It goes to eleven: Lightning edge Rangers in track meet 34
- Brodeur signs three-year deal to be Blues’ assistant GM 12
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy 172
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (172)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Russia to be punished for ‘completely out of order’ actions after Worlds final loss to Canada (90)
- Report: Sabres negotiating with Babcock (82)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)