Reimer could be a steal if he regains his form

Leafs goalies Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer will make a combined $5.7 million this season —...

Leafs goalies Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer will make a combined $5.7 million this season — less than Dion Phaneuf. (DAVE THOMAS/QMI Agency)

STEVE SIMMONS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:40 AM ET

This is the opposite of the Dion Phaneuf contract: No one will scream about Maple Leafs goaltenders being overpaid for the coming season.

In fact, the opposite may well be true.

When James Reimer avoided arbitration Friday and signed a two-year deal in Toronto, it meant that 15 starting goaltenders in the National Hockey League will individually earn more money than the Leafs duo of Reimer and Jonathan Bernier, who combined will take home $5.7 million, or 2.3 million less than the Leafs captain, Phaneuf.

It’s reasonably clear, although the club won’t say so, that Bernier will be the starting goalie. He earned that tag last season. The real questions going forward are: Can Reimer be an effective backup and more importantly than that, will he accept the role of not being a starter and invest properly in his career to become the best second goalie he can be?

Last year, when the Leafs needed Reimer most, he couldn’t produce.


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