Toronto Maple Leafs fans breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday morning when it was announced that Leafs President and GM Brian Burke signed budding star goaltender James Reimer to a three-year contract.
The deal comes after Reimer was implemented into the lineup because of injuries. He played his way to the top of the team's depth charts in less than half a season.
The 23-year-old finished the 2010-11 season with a 20-10-5 record, posting a 2.60 GAA and .921 SV% in the 37 games he appeared in. He played so well in the regular season for the club that he was named to Team Canada at the 2011 World Championships in Slovakia. There, he went 3-0-0 with a 2.04 GAA and .920 SV%.
He quickly became a fan favourite and the name "Opitmus Reim" swept across the city as Leaf Nation demanded he play in every game. They'll get their chance to see him a lot more now that he's signed through the 2013-14 season.
The Manitoba native will get every chance in the world to enter the 2011-12 season as the team's No.1 goaltender. It looks right now like it will be a battle between himself and Jonas Gustavsson for starter's duty.
It it just the beginning of the signings for the Leafs this summer, as there still needs to be decisions made on players like Luke Schenn, Clarke MacArthur, and Tyler Bozak, among others. It could be a big offseason for the club, as Brian Burke no doubt has more moves up his sleeve.
But for fans, Thursday was a good start. They've got what looks to be their goalie of the future locked up, and it's been a while since anyone in the city has been able to say that—well, say it with any sort of merit behind it, that is.