The Toronto Maple Leafs avoided the seemingly inevitable arbitration hearing with goaltender James Reimer by coming to terms on a two-year, $4.6 million contract a couple of days ago. After all the talk that had been going around about a damaging cap hit, $2.3 million per year is a reasonable price.
However, could that mean he’s now easier to trade?
Eklund of HockeyBuzz.com says that a trade is just a matter of time. Take that however you like, but he does mention something else. He notes that it’s peculiar that Reimer signed a two-year deal after asking for a trade earlier this off-season. Doesn’t make much sense now does it?
In my opinion, Reimer will probably start the season with the Leafs as Jonathan Bernier‘s back-up. However, if Reimer can rebound and push for more starts, his value will go back up. If another NHL team’s goalie gets hurt during the season, a Reimer who is performing well could be a cheap but effective replacement. The fact that he is signed beyond this season makes him even more appealing.
So Reimer is here to stay, at least for now. How long he remains in a Toronto Maple Leafs uniform is still a question to be answered.