James Reimer has been used primarily as a backup goaltender this season after the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Jonathan Bernier in the offseason to be the starter.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the 26-year-old netminder will ask for a trade after the season.
Well, Randy Carlyle has really done it now. @DarrenDreger says James Reimer will "respectfully request a trade" this summer.—
David Shoalts (@dshoalts) March 20, 2014
After a 3-2 loss against the Red Wings, Reimer’s agent shared his thoughts on the situation via Twitter.
As is customary in Toronto, when your team plays poor defensively game after game you blame your goalie.—
Ray Petkau (@RayPetkau) March 19, 2014
Reimer’s playing time has significantly decreased this season. He’s appeared in just 30 games and started 27 of them, compared to Bernier’s 50 appearances and 44 starts.
His goals against average and save percentage are both worse than they were last year — when he helped Toronto end its nine-year playoff drought — but the team’s defensive performance is more to blame for Reimer’s disappointing numbers. The Leafs allow the most shots per game (36.2) in the NHL, and they also are among the worst possession teams in the league.
As a goalie whose played well in a tough hockey market while facing many quality scoring chances per game, it wouldn’t be surprising if there is plenty of interest in Reimer during the offseason. If the Winnipeg Jets fail to make the playoffs for the third straight season following their move from Atlanta, they would be smart to consider acquiring Reimer — a Winnipeg native.
He will be a restricted free agent after the season.