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Nonis could see Reimer back in Toronto next season

Jan 22, 2014, 1:26 PM EDT

James Reimer Getty Images

As we’ve seen during their six-game winning streak, the Toronto Maple Leafs are one of the most dependent-on-goaltending teams in the NHL. If not for the outstanding play of Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer this season, the Leafs probably aren’t in a playoff position right now.

Statistically, Bernier has been the better of the two netminders, with a .927 save percentage in 36 games. But his partner has been almost as good, at .919 in 22 appearances.

Reimer, 25, is also a restricted free agent — a status that has led to questions for general manager Dave Nonis about next season.

“I haven’t thought that too far, but could I see a scenario where both goalies were back next season? Yes,” Nonis told the National Post yesterday. “We’ve gone this far because of our goaltending. Jon is on a bit of a roll, but James has been really good for us.”

Part of Nonis’s decision will depend on what he’s able to get for Reimer in a trade. The goalie market is a tough one to define. The Los Angeles Kings were only able to garner a third-round pick for Ben Scrivens. Granted, Reimer is two years younger and has more NHL experience than Scrivens.

As NP reporter Michael Traikos notes, “The Leafs, who still have control over Reimer, could re-sign him to a one-year deal at a number similar to what Bernier is making. But with Phil Kessel and Dion Phaneuf both getting significant raises next season and several key players heading for free agency (Jake Gardiner, Cody Franson, Dave Bolland), bringing back Reimer will not be easy.”


  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jan 22, 2014 at 1:50 PM

    I would like nothing more than to see him back next year and beyond. But, as you said, that may not be totally realistic.

    Of the FA-to-be guys you mention, I think they can do without Gardiner. They should move him while he still has some semblance of value left. I like him as a player, but they now have a younger and better version in Reilly.

    Franson and Bolland would seem to be must-haves for this team so hopefully deals will be worked out there.

  2. channelguy - Jan 22, 2014 at 7:03 PM

    Gardiner is an RFA, not a UFA, and since he still hasn’t established himself yet, I think he’s likely to get a modest bridge contract, not a budget buster. Given that Bolland will miss most of the season – and possibly the rest of it — he\s not going to get a long term deal at big bucks. It would suit both parties better to get a one year deal at about what he’s making now. And given Franson’s disappointing year, Leafs may well let him walk. Leafs may have issues keeping Reimer because he (understandably) will want to start somewhere, but I don’t see the three contracts mentioned as posing any problem.

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