NHL Trade Speculation: 7 Teams That May Be Interested in James Reimer
Even during the lockout, the Luongo to Toronto talks persist.
People love to discuss whether or not that's a smart move to make, but rarely do we hear any conversation about the future of James Reimer should that deal be made at some point.
With a guy like Ben Scrivens starting in the AHL, the Leafs have someone who can start 10 or 15 games per season behind Luongo.
Therefore, Reimer's value may be highest on the trade market.
But who would be interested in acquiring the Leafs netminders?
Here are a few teams that could look to scoop him up.
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The first team that could be interested in James Reimer is the Vancouver Canucks.
If they're going to deal their current No. 1 goalie to Toronto, bringing Reimer back in the deal to back up Cory Schneider may be something the Canucks look into.
Considering the fact that Reimer has NHL experience and has shown at times that when healthy, he can be an effective goaltender, he could provide Vancouver with another solid one-two punch in net that wouldn't cost as much, nor would it include a toxic contract like Luongo's.
Vancouver's interest in Reimer will ultimately come down to how they feel about Eddie Lack, their No. 1 goaltending prospect who has excelled in recent years, but has a GAA of nearly 3.00 this season in the AHL. Perhaps he's having a little trouble acclimating to some NHL-caliber players joining the AHL this season and could use another year or two of development.
Tampa Bay Lightning
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While the Tampa Bay Lightning just acquired Anders Lindback from Nashville this offseason, having James Reimer as a backup plan wouldn't hurt. Lindback hasn't yet been tested by a full season as a starter and may not be as solid as he had been as a backup in Nashville.
Enter James Reimer, who has been a starter for a prolonged period and, when healthy, has shown signs of being successful.
With high-end prospects like Andrey Vasilevskiy and Dustin Tokarski looking like they may need another year or so to develop, Reimer's short contract would also be advantageous for the Lightning.
New Jersey Devils
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The New Jersey Devils are another obvious potential destination for the Leafs goaltender.
With Martin Brodeur very close to retirement and a shallow pool of potential replacements in their system, the Devils will be looking for a new, young goalie.
Bringing in Reimer to back up Brodeur and learn from the legendary netminder for a season before handing him the starting gig could work out really well for New Jersey.
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With one of the more potent offensive attacks in the NHL and a great core of young, reliable defensemen, the Chicago Blackhawks have built a team that is now a perennial playoff contender.
The only thing they're missing is goaltending.
Last season, Corey Crawford and Ray Emery were both shaky, and while James Reimer wasn't the poster child of success himself, he was still showing signs of being timid in his crease thanks to the head shot he took early on in the season.
Now that he has recovered, he could be the answer to Chicago's goaltending woes.
With no other answer in sight (their top goaltending prospect, Brandon Whitney, is struggling in the junior leagues and their second-best goalie prospect is having a decent year in the ECHL), Chicago may look to deal with Toronto.
New York Islanders
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The situation in net on Long Island is in absolute shambles.
Over the course of the past few seasons, the blue paint has been a revolving door, seeing goalie after goalie get their shot and fail to establish themselves as a true No. 1 netminder.
Perhaps trading for Reimer would be the cure for the Islanders.
After all, it appears that they've gone through just about all the goaltending prospects they had. Hockeysfuture.com lists goaltending prospects as one of the Islanders' weaknesses.
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Anaheim could be another potential suitor for James Reimer.
With the struggles of Jonas Hiller in 2011-12, the Ducks may need immediate help in goal should those struggles persist in Hiller's next season.
This could be an especially big deal if there ends up being a shortened season in 2012-13.
Because with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry both heading into free agency, missing the postseason again and having a volatile situation in the blue paint could seriously hinder their chances at bringing back one or both of their star forwards.
Reimer wouldn't be a guarantee for the Ducks, but he would be insurance in case Hiller has problems getting back into form.
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After Nikolai Khabibulin and his younger counterpart, Devan Dubnyk, both got off to impressive start in net for the Edmonton Oilers last season, it seemed like the Oilers had found their long term solution in goal.
Dubnyk, Edmonton's first-round pick in the 2004 draft, had trouble maintaining that success though.
It was a roller-coaster of a season for the 26-year-old netminder, as he posted a save percentage of over .925 in October, December, March and April.
While those numbers are impressive, the months in between were the complete opposite, as Dubnyk wasn't able to post a save percentage of over .902 in November, January or February.
With that kind of inconsistency and Khabibulin aging, Reimer would be a great fit in Edmonton.