Skip to content

After not seeing ‘eye-to-eye’ with Carlyle, Reimer will compete for No. 1 gig

Jul 28, 2014, 3:30 PM EDT

reimergetty Getty Images

Just days after a somewhat surprising re-up in Toronto, James Reimer discussed two big reasons why some figured he’d ask out of Toronto — 1) his relationship with Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle, and 2) being stuck behind Jonathan Bernier.

Reimer’s take? The first wasn’t as bad as it seemed, and the second isn’t accurate.

“I think it was blown a little out of proportion,” Reimer said of his relationship with Carlyle, per Sportsnet’s Fan 590. “Lots of people have asked me about Randy and what I think of him, and in all honesty I’ve always defended him.

“I think maybe we didn’t see eye-to-eye last year, but that has no bearing on his ability to coach or what he can do with the team. Sometimes you just don’t see eye-to-eye and that’s the way things go, but I have a lot of respect for him and I think he’s a great coach.”

The Reimer-Carlyle relationship is complex, but most point to a single event in explaining rift between the two: “Just OK”-gate.

From TSN:

In the midst of the [late-season] collapse, the goaltender and his head coach had conflicting statements following a tough loss to the Red Wings in which Reimer allowed three goals on 34 shots.

“I thought he was okay, you know, just okay,” Carlyle said post-game, to which Reimer replied: “He said just okay? I thought I was good.”

The goaltender’s agent, Ray Petkau added fuel to the fire tweeting: “As is customary in Toronto, when your team plays poor defensively game after game, you blame your goalie,” before clarifying that the tweet was not in response to Carlyle’s comments.

That incident, not surprisingly, kickstarted conversations about Reimer playing elsewhere next season and as the offseason progressed, those talks heated up. Bernier seemed entrenched as the starter, in April, Reimer told TSN asking about a trade request was a “fair question.” In late June, a report from Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos claimed the 26-year-old had indeed asked to be moved.

So, the big question — what changed over the course of a month that convinced Reimer to sign a two-year deal worth $4.6 million?

According to him, the starting job is up for grabs.

Sportsnet: In your mind, are you Jonathan Bernier’s backup or are you coming into camp intent on winning the No. 1 job?

Reimer: Yeah, obviously the latter. I was told there’s a definite opportunity. That’s the mindset I’m coming in with, to really take advantage of the opportunity that’s been given and earn the No. 1 spot.

So, really interesting situation to monitor moving forward. If Toronto was honest in its pitch to Reimer, it could be in for another season loaded with goalie controversy.

  1. twerkslikeMiley - Jul 28, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    Bernier is infinitely better than Reimer.

  2. Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    I’m glad Reimer had a good head on his shoulders, because his agent sure doesn’t. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again… since when does “just ok” equal “blamed for everything”.

    I get Reimer’s frustration last year, but Bernier was just better. Start of the season Bernier had the edge, then he got hot during the season and Reimer didn’t get too many chances to play until Bernie was injured. I hope he does bounce back and challenges for the #1 spot. Having two good goalies is never a bad thing.

    • Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 28, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      HAS* a good head on his shoulders

      sorry Reims, didn’t mean to behead you.

  3. mykem07 - Jul 28, 2014 at 6:06 PM

    I’m glad Reimer doesn’t want to leave. The Leafs need a 1A and 1B combo that was predicted last season.

  4. mistercue62 - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:40 AM

    This Reimergate nonsense has gotten completely out of control! The fact that such a completely begnign, off-the-cuff remark by an NHL head coach (when questioned about his back-up goaltender’s shortcomings in the aftermath of yet another sub-par performance in yet another losing effort) has been given so muxh attention and lent so much creedence by the Toronto media is pathetic, depressing evidence of just one thing: it must be summer in Leaf-Land. If anything, Randy Carlyle was being polite when the now infamous “remark” was made.

    The truth is that James Reimer is not now, nor has he EVER been a “great goalie” as at least one apparent alcoholic imbecile so ineloquently described him; in fact, he’s at best been a serviceable back-up awash in mediocrity at at worst, a disasterous liability (more the latter than the former of late). He still goes down too early on nearly every shot (an undeniable sign that he lacks confidence in his own abilities), he continues to give up dangerous rebound after juicy rebound right in front or into the slot, his glove remains attrocious, representing an even greater liability due to the fact that he’s sliding around on his knees the vast majority of the time, his lateral movement is ponderously slow for a so-called NHL-caliber goaltender, his reflexes are slow (& getting slower), he has trouble picking the puck up in any amount of traffic, he plays a butterfly style yet manages to get beaten through the 5-hole in pretty much every appearance as he lacks the basic intelligence to put his stick straight down to block the opening, instead angling it towards himself, in turn creating a 5-hole scoring ramp, he still can’t handle the puck to save his life, routinely turning it over, frequently causing a dangerous scoring opportunity out of his net and most of all, he just isn’t a very intelligent netminder.

    It never ceases to amaze me just how delusionally diehard you Reimer-apologists continue to be in the face of overwhelming evidence in defiance of your convictions! I cannot believe that I’m still reading nonsense like “compete for the starting job” and the classic “1A & 1B”. Either you folks know very little about hockey or are the same mental defectives whose misdirected loyalties made a hockey god out of Tie Domi (or as he’s affectionately known around hockey circles: “Old Cement Head”). WAKE UP REIMERITES!! Reimer is the back-up goaltender for the Toronto Maple Leafs and will remain so until the INFINITELY more talented Jonathan Bernier (the STARTING goaltender of the Toronto Maple Leafs) suffers a set-back (and Reimer should thank his lucky stars that the Leafs were fiscally irresponsible enough to mercifully retain him as opposed to walking away from an arbitration award for a potentially higher $ amount or paying more than their starter for this floundering waste of space!). Think about it for a moment (if you can stop staring at whatever shiny thing that recently distracted you); if James Reimer were indeed the “great goalie” capable of competing for a starting job in the NHL, then why hasn’t anyone come calling? Why is it that a publically available #1 talent hasn’t been pursued by other general managers even as a prospective back-up? Why have essentially all of them filled their openings in net with other players? I’ll tell you why…it’s because they don’t think that he’s any good! As much as the Leafs organization has tried ad nauseum to insulate Reimer & conceal the fact that he’s irretrievably flawed, these GM’s aren’t stupid. Despite the feeble and almost scripted contrived remarks singing Reimer’s praises during Leaf telecasts by shameless stooges like Greg Millen (it’s no coincidence that MLSE is owned by Rogers Communications & Bell Media, the proprietors of the stations which broadcast Leaf games, btw, including, it would seem, Hockey Night in Canada), it’s ironically diffucult to hide Reimer’s incompetence from those same general managers who take that dimestore hooker, Greg Millen’s the way that they should; with a grain of salt.

    Reimer is still a Leaf for one reason & one reason only: nobody else wants him & the buffoon Nonis, for all of his transparent, vague & utterly false praise of Reimer has been unable to trade him (& don’t think for a second that he didn’t try…and for a lot longer than you might think). Perhaps if Nonis had spent a little more time trying to generate REALISTIC interest in Reimer as opposed to wasting so much valuable time publically declaring overestimations of Reimer’s capabilities that fooled noone with an above room temperature IQ, we might actually be rid of the inept liability by now. Instead were stuck with an overpaid, incompetent, perennial back-up who has no business being in the NHL at all until some team gets so desperate that they’ll actually be willing to part with the bag of pucks the Leafs will be asking at that point. Then, hopefully, we pick up Brodeur to back up & mentor the otherwise mentor-less Bernier. Now THAT would be something actually worth writing about!

    If Reimer still thinks that he’s actually going to “compete for the #1”, starting gig in camp, then he’s even dumber than I thought!

    • bsaures - Jul 29, 2014 at 8:25 AM

      Next time make your insane ramblings shorter than the actual article you are complaining about

      • dolphincult - Jul 29, 2014 at 9:48 AM

        didn’t even read it……

      • mistercue62 - Jul 29, 2014 at 11:27 AM

        Wow! What a searing retort! “Next time make your insane ramblings shorter than the article…”. Profound! Provocative! Poetically pragmatic and powerfully poignant! Jeepers! I see the light now! Your evidently thorough analysis has inspired me! I see now how fundamentally and factually flawed my argument truly is! “If it’s long, it must be wrong”. I think I’ll make that my personal mantra!

        Before you rush to the letter “p” in your pocket Webster’s dictionary you might want to carefully consider the following tutorial:

        PISSANT (noun-pejorative):

        1.An insignificant person. 2. Vulgar; a person or thing of no value or consequence. 3. A person seemingly incapable of focusing on anything but the trivial, especially in the sense of trivial or irrelevant criticism.

        While you’re there, you might as well check out the meaning of another word that, if you play your cards right, could well set you on your own lucrative path of self-realization:


      • bsaures - Jul 29, 2014 at 12:17 PM

        How long did it take you to find all those big word 2 -3 hours or did your mommy help you after the little whiny rant you had earlier. Sue reimer for at his age not wanting to give up on his dream of being a nhl starter. He may never get there but atleast he still has the drive unlike you who would rather rag on a guy who has done more with his life than you ever will. So next time instead of being a dbag just leave the keyboard alone and go eat lunch with tour mommy. And dont worry she cut up your chicken so you wont choke again.

      • borzemela - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        Good job Bsaures,

        Alot of fans forget, it is not just the goalie at fault if any, that the team did not perform well. Did you catch that mistercue 62? TEAM, If you want to look anything up in the dictionary it should be that.

        Yes Reimer had a subpar season last year, but when facing a challenge sometimes your nerves get the better of you. So instead of using all these useless big words that really…Don’t mean much at the end of the day unless you are at a tea party sipping your tea cup with your pinky pointed out.

        That is my Rant about mistercue62, give others a chance instead of looking down on them because you have a dictionary under your pillow at night…K? :)

    • avscup - Jul 29, 2014 at 9:51 AM

      War and Peace by mistercue62!

      • imleftcoast - Jul 29, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        It would take less space to list the number of times a Jack Adams winner’s team missed the playoffs the next year.

    • beergold - Jul 29, 2014 at 2:52 PM

      I’d love to see you and the Dooman at a bar together talking Leafs. My bet is that you would kick his butt and his Mom’s too! (caused she’d be there too of course)

    • borzemela - Jul 29, 2014 at 3:21 PM

      Oh and just an FYI, Carlyle openly confessed that the number one job is up for grabs. So if I were listen to either you or an NHL coach. You know exactly what I would do 😉

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 29, 2014 at 4:43 PM

    • 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Jul 29, 2014 at 4:49 PM

      Oh yeah, HNIC hasn’t done a single broadcast since Rogers landed that deal. Who would ever have thought that a person who writes that sort of tome to flex his lexical muscles could be so uninformed?

      Really, everybody did? Alright then…carry on.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1828)
  2. P. Kessel (1559)
  3. M. Richards (1323)
  4. N. Backstrom (1134)
  5. P. Datsyuk (1130)