Behind Reimer the 'Monster' lurks

Maple Leafs goaltender Jonas Gustavsson will be looking to unseat James Reimer as the club's No. 1...

Maple Leafs goaltender Jonas Gustavsson will be looking to unseat James Reimer as the club's No. 1 option in net this season. (Abelimages/Getty Images/AFP file photo)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:46 AM ET

TORONTO - There likely aren’t a pair of more polite goaltenders in the NHL than James Reimer and Jonas Gustavsson.

But that goodwill won’t extend to the ice in a couple of weeks and both know it. Gustavsson said earlier this summer that he doesn’t intend to be a bystander at training camp and projected No. 1 Reimer says he welcomes a healthy rivalry.

“We talked a lot the past couple of days, got to know each other better,” Reimer said this week. “It’s going to be great having that competition there. He obviously wants the net and he’s going to be a heck of a goalie. We’ll push each other and I think it will be a good system.”

Both still have Francois Allaire as their goaltending coach, but must get by without the sage advice of veteran Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who signed in Colorado when the Leafs committed to youth.

“I loved having Jiggy around,” Reimer said. “He educated me a lot on the league, on different players and on different situations. It was priceless what he did for me.”

While Reimer has gone back to his Manitoba home to prepare for the move East, Gustavsson has been a regular at the MasterCard Centre this week as the Leafs and Marlies began informal workouts.

Turning 27 in a couple of months to make him three years older than Reimer, Gustavsson is in the last year of his contract, paying him $1.35 million to Reimer’s $1.8 million.

So, he’ll want to make the most of any opportunity to prove his value to the Leafs.

lance.hornby@sunmedia.ca


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