Apr 12, 2014; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer (34) during warmup prior to game against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Speculation: Will James Reimer Be Traded?

James Reimer and the Toronto Maple Leafs are in an interesting position.

Reimer was the first goaltender to help the Leafs make the playoffs since Ed Belfour did it all the way back in 2004. That got him a lot of love from the city of Toronto, even though fans were eventually disappointed after the first round. However, Reimer was riding high and looked like he had finally locked up the starting role in Toronto.

Then the Maple Leafs traded for Jonathan Bernier.

That trade brought Reimer back to square one. After a month or two of splitting games, Bernier really took over as the Leafs starter and Reimer was once again relegated to backup duty. Not only that, but Reimer struggled while Bernier was out with an injury late in the season.

Now, with the 2014 NHL Draft and free agency looming, there is a big question as to whether Reimer will be back with the Maple Leafs next season. He is a restricted free agent so he needs a new contract, but should the Leafs offer him one. Should they trade him?

Reimer, like all goalies, wants to be a starter. However, there are very few NHL teams that are looking for starting goalies. The most Reimer would get is a chance to fight for the starting role.

What about the return for the Leafs? Right now, it wouldn’t be so good unless he was part of a package deal. If they just trade Reimer, they would probably get a second- or third-round pick in return. Had the Leafs traded him last off-season after the acquisition of Bernier, the return would have been much better.

Reimer needs to reestablish himself. If he were willing to take a small pay cut, I would re-sign him and see if he could work it out, but it’s more likely that Reimer wants out so he can get the best chance to start.

Tags: James Reimer NHL Trade Speculation Toronto Maple Leafs

4 Comments on Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Speculation: Will James Reimer Be Traded?

  1. Peter Hefner says:

    Reimer and Carlisle don’t mix! Goodbye!

    • flintonrice says:

      That shouldn’t matter. They are both paid to do their jobs and they’re both professionals. I have always found that to be a weak argument.

      If the Leafs are as bad defensively this year as last, they would be smart to retain Reimer as a back up and then be prepared to deal him at the deadline where he might actually be worth something.

      He is worthless with what is available in net right now. A trade would be awful.

  2. Stan Smith says:

    The Reimer situation is a tough one. As far as trading him goes they would have to qualify him at $1.6M first. Would there be many teams that would be willing to pay him that? I think the choices are qualify him to keep him or let him become an unrestricted free agent. They could probably get a decent backup for $1M or less, maybe even give Drew MacIntyre a shot, thus saving them $600,000 in cap space.

  3. A13276 says:

    Reimer has to go. He was a major distraction last season. Couldn’t bring it home against the Bruins in game 7 or last season to make the playoffs when Bernier went down with an injury. This is Bernier’s team now! Trade him to a CAP floor team for a bag of pucks.

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