James Reimer to Panthers: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2016

San Jose Sharks goalie James Reimer (34) watches from the bench as his team against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the first period in Game 2 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup finals on Wednesday, June 1, 2016, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)
Keith Srakocic/Associated Press

The San Jose Sharks acquired James Reimer midway through last season to shore up their netminding situation, but he never got the chance to make an impact. Reimer hopes that will change with the Florida Panthers.

The veteran goalie and the Panthers agreed to a five-year, $17 million contract on Friday, per ESPN's Craig Custance.

Chris Johnston of Sportsnet had the breakdown of Reimer's deal, which pays him $5 million next season and $3 million each of the four seasons after that. 

Reimer, 28, split 2015-16 with San Jose and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He was 17-14-7 overall, putting together a career-best 2.31 goals-against average in 40 appearances. The Leafs traded Reimer to San Jose midway through the season, when it became abundantly clear they were not headed to the playoffs.

Unfortunately for Reimer, Martin Jones never allowed him to make much of an impact. Reimer made only eight regular-season starts in a Sharks uniform, compiling a sterling 6-2 record and three shutouts. But when the playoffs started, Jones kicked it into high gear as San Jose made a spirited run to the Stanley Cup Final.

Reimer appeared in only one postseason contest, giving up one goal in a blowout loss to the St. Louis Blues. Despite seeing a marked downturn in his role from Toronto, Reimer was consistently supportive of his teammates and seemed to understand where he stood, per Kevin McGran of the Star:   

The day of the outright No. 1 is getting less and less because there are so many more good goalies. But I think when you get down to the playoffs, the chance of a coach making a change for the sake of making a change becomes less and less likely.

But as a professional you always stay ready. You never know what’s going to happen, what’s going to transpire. For the team’s sake, you hope everything stays status quo, and things go well. But as a player you have to stay ready.

Reimer spent his first five-and-a-half seasons in Toronto, where he was part of a goalie platoon throughout. He has never made more than 37 or fewer than 27 starts in his NHL career.

As the top goalie on the market, Reimer was always going to have interest. But he also had to contend with a deep trade market of guys, as the depth at goaltender around the league has arguably never been better. Reimer will likely settle into another platoon with Roberto Luongo, which has suited him just fine and will work out well at this price point.