If it were up to James Reimer, he would not be wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater during the 2014-15 NHL season.
The 26-year-old goaltender has requested a trade, according to Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos:
Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) June 29, 2014
The speculation involving Winnipeg is not surprising. Reimer is from Manitoba, and the Jets need a reliable starting goaltender because Ondrej Pavelec has been unable to play at a high level consistently and lead his team to the playoffs.
Pavelec hasn’t posted a goals against average below 2.80 or a save percentage higher than .910 since the 2010-11 season, when the Jets franchise was still the Atlanta Thrashers.
Reimer is good enough to be a starter at the NHL level, but he probably won’t get that opportunity in Toronto.
Reimer struggled at times last season and posted a mediocre .911 save percentage. He lost his starting job to Jonathan Bernier as a result, and it doesn’t appear as if head coach Randy Carlyle is interested in making another goalie switch. To be fair to Reimer, the Leafs did allow the most shots per game in the league last season and had the third-worst penalty kill.
The lack of quality goaltenders on the free-agent market should help the Leafs work out a trade for Reimer if they decide to go in that direction.