Leafs goalie James Reimer nominated for Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy

Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer. (QMI Agency)

Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer. (QMI Agency)

LANCE HORNBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:12 PM ET

TORONTO - James Reimer’s contributions to the Maple Leafs’ playoff run could net him an NHL trophy.

The Toronto goaltender, whose career has been de-railed a couple of times by injuries and clouded by talk of the team acquiring someone else, is the Leafs’ nomineee for the  Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy.

Reimer was picked by the Toronto Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association for the award, honouring the player who best exemplifies "perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey."

Reimer, whose 4-0 shutout of the Florida Panthers on Thursday improved his record to 19-7-0-5, is fifth in NHL save percentage at .926. That’s the highest by a Leaf since the stat was first kept in 1983-84. Had he not been rattled by injuries the past couple of years he might have had a hand in ending Toronto’s long playoff drought earlier.

Reimer has had to fight for his job not only this season, but since his 2006 draft year. Ten goalies were selected ahead of him before Toronto took him 99th overall. Reimer worked his way up the chain from the ECHL South Carolina Stingrays to the Marlies to an unexpected chance to be the Leaf starter at the end of 2010-11.

Since then, he’s won more than 50 games and recorded 10 shutouts putting him in the top 20 of the franchise in both departments. But the 25-year-old from Morweena, Man., has also been a solid dressing room citizen, refusing to mope about the team’s earlier playoff failures or gripe about the constant questions regarding the club’s pursuit of Roberto Luongo.

Each of the PHWA’s 30 chapters nominates a player as part of the summer NHL awards ceremony. Joffrey Lupul was nominated last year and the 2007 winner was Phil Kessel, then a Boston Bruin, who came back from cancer treatments.


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