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Exit Interview: Reimer on How Pride Night Stance Could Affect His Free Agency

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Credit: San Jose Sharks

After a subpar season, San Jose Sharks goaltender James Reimer is set to become an unrestricted free agent.

Reimer finished this season with a 12-21-8 record, 3.48 GAA, and a .890 save %. The Sharks, of course, didn’t help those numbers either with their below-average team defense. Those numbers, however, are a long way off his career 2.87 GAA and .911 save %.

Reimer also made the controversial choice to not wear a Pride Night warm-up jersey when the San Jose Sharks hosted their Pride Night in March.

Reimer addressed his pending free agency, if he’d like to come back to San Jose, and if he thinks his Pride Night stance might affect his employment options.

The next day, GM Mike Grier suggested that Reimer wouldn’t be back, though he didn’t close the door on it either.

Exit Interview: Grier on Trading Karlsson, How Sharks Get Better, Not Bringing Back Reimer & More (+)

See James Reimer’s full interview here

Reimer, on how the San Jose Sharks played differently with David Quinn as opposed to Bob Boughner:

Keep in mind I’m a goalie. Sometimes I get stuck in my own world and kind of just worry about the six feet in front of me. I would say I think we probably play a little more of an aggressive style and more up-tempo and kind of like push the pace style of play, and try and keep teams on their toes and not let them be comfortable in any area of the ice. I played on teams before with that style, and when it’s executed well, it’s obviously a very successful way to play.

I think any system has its pros and cons, right? There’s no kind of perfect system, right? But I think that when things don’t go well, it’s not necessarily the system as opposed to execution and stuff like that, right? I mean, you look at the playoffs and the teams in the playoffs right now, and it’s not like there’s one style of play that all 16 teams do. There are different ways to win. I think what it comes down to is us as players executing and buying in and believing in it. Having said that, that’s not to say we didn’t do that. I mean, I think every guy here worked their butt off and played with that integrity. It just didn’t work out.

Reimer, on what his summer will be like as a pending UFA:

I mean, every time you’re a UFA, there’s uncertainty, and you don’t know where you’re gonna go or what’s gonna happen. For myself, as far as this year…I think there are people that [are] paid good money to assess how a player plays, and so you hope [they] see that. I feel like I’m a better goalie today than I was six, seven months ago, and, unfortunately, the results haven’t been there. I felt I made good strides last summer, working on my game, and throughout this whole year. I feel like my game has improved.

We’ll see what happens in the summer, but you know, I’m really confident about my game. It’s funny, you know, I don’t know how to say it, but I’m kind of itching and ready for the next year to start. Usually, when the season’s over, before you get the itch, it’s usually two, three, four weeks, right? For me, it feels like I woke up this morning, and you got the itch to get back at it. I’ll be really motivated this summer and then going into next year.

Reimer, on if his Pride Night stance may affect his FA interest:

I mean, obviously, I knew that could be a possibility…when we had that little chat there. I don’t know where GMs stand on that or what they’re going to take into account. With me, I think that my reputation and my play are the biggest things. I think that by now, people know who I am and what I’m about, what I can bring to the team and the locker room. I’m sure right after, there might have been some knee-jerk reactions or emotions, but I think, as time goes on, I think that will play less into it than what some might think.

Reimer, if there have been any discussions with he or his agent regarding a possible return to San Jose:

I’m not quite sure all the discussions that have gone on. I’ve really enjoyed my time here. Going back to the first time around, and then [to come] back here, a lot of good guys in the room and such a cool city and just the atmosphere and the fans and the rink, it’s a very, very unique and special place to play.

For me, I’m not quite sure what’s going to happen going into next year. You never scratch any team off the list. I’ve enjoyed my time here, and we’ll see what happens.

Reimer on if anything changed in his life or in the San Jose Sharks locker room after his decision on Pride Night:

Yeah, not too much. Honestly, I don’t think my day-to-day life has really changed too much since that happened.

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