Hanging a nickname on Reimer
LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency
|Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer, who visited The Spirit of Hockey Store in Toronto, Ont., Tuesday, signs autographs for fans Danny Hennessy (right) and Hayden McAllister. (DAVE THOMAS/QMI Agency)
TORONTO - Whether it’s Cat, Cujo or Eagle, you’re just not a bona fide Maple Leaf netminder without a catchy nickname.
Fans weren’t too excited about Andrew (Razor) Raycroft and some names they hung on Vesa Toskala can’t be printed. But here comes James Reimer, whose strong start in his rookie year has inspired people to think outside the box. The first few kids in line at Tuesday’s Hockey Hall of Fame autograph session had the Optimus Reim t-shirt that a sharp-thinking fan re-configured from The Transformers franchise.
“It was very popular,” joked Reimer’s agent, Ray Petkau. “I’ve ordered my own shirt.
Reimer has at least six nicknames he’s carefully considering:
- Optimus Reim — In The Tranformers, Optimus Prime is the leader of the Autobots, from the planet Cybertron. He’s brave, powerful, wise and compassionate, charged with improving the universe around him and kicking evil Decepticon butt. Put a Habs’ or Sens’ logo on a Decepticon and you’ll get the picture.
Reimer thought about using an Optimus Reim theme on his mask this year, but might stick with his current paint job.
- Reim Minister Of Defence — Hey, there’s never been a Manitoba-born PM. Stephen Harper won’t mind loaning the title (as long as Reimer has a good season) and it might even get kids interested in federal politics.
- The Statue — This gained early popularity after Reimer’s first successes. Killjoy coach Ron Wilson lectured the media about getting too excited, saying ‘around here, a guy wins a game and we’re ready to build a statue for him.’
- King James — Didn’t work so well for LeBron James in Cleveland after he abdicated. But royalty is cool again after Will and Kate. If Reimer played in Los Angeles, this would be a no-brainer.
- JR-34 — This is the line of clothing with Reimer’s initial and jersey number, in stores this month. “It’s men’s and women’s apparel, it’s trenchcoats, shirts, fleece pullovers, lots of semi-casual,” Petkau said. “Honestly, we haven’t had a ton of time to talk about some of these things. It has been such a whirlwind of activity for him since he made it. We have so many opportunities with endorsements and products and there are some licensing things we’re working through.”
- Prime Time Reim — Deion Sanders has been retired long enough that Prime Time can be recycled.
“My two favourites are Optimus Reim or the Reim Minister,” Reimer said. “They’re all pretty creative and it’s a lot of fun to play along with those names.”