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Is This Reimer’s Last Game with Sharks? He’s Been One of NHL’s Better Values

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Credit: AP Photo/John Hefti

Was this James Reimer’s last game with the San Jose Sharks?

Pierre LeBrun reported today that Reimer is “garnering interest” from other teams.

Count head coach Bob Boughner as someone who wants to keep Reimer in the Sharks locker room.

“Reims has played so well, he’s such a huge asset for us,” Boughner shared after the veteran stopped 23 of 25 shots to lead San Jose to a 4-2 victory over Arizona. “Looking into next year with a guy like that already under contract, I would think he’s pretty safe. I think Reims would probably agree with that.”

Reimer, however, wasn’t as sure about that: “It used to be when you had a couple years left in your deal then maybe it was less likely to be traded. I feel like nowadays with such a tight salary cap and everyone’s against the ceiling, sometimes teams want those guys that have years left in the deal like Calgary with Toffoli and stuff like that.”

Therein lies the San Jose Sharks’ conundrum: Reimer has been one of the league’s better bargains between the pipes this year, and he’s locked into a team-friendly contract next season too. In theory, the cap-strapped Sharks should be keeping a goalie who’s been both inexpensive and productive if they want to compete for the post-season next year. On the other hand, if there’s a team willing to overpay for Reimer’s services?

The same things that make Reimer attractive to San Jose are what make him attractive to the rest of the NHL.

For his part, the 34-year-old is keeping his usual cool despite the possibility that he and his family might be changing addresses soon. The Trade Deadline is on Mar. 21 at 12 PM PT.

“The way I can stay relaxed or have peace, I trust in the good Lord, he’s got a plan. So whatever happens, happens. You can kind of just rest easy,” he shared. “But at the end of the day, you can’t really control it. You just never know what’s gonna happen. You just try and worry about stopping pucks.”

Stopping pucks, Reimer’s done that plenty for the San Jose Sharks this season. If it’s indeed his last game in teal, it’s worth paying tribute, from his torrid start to his gutsy 13-straight start stand as San Jose’s playoff hopes were sinking in the West.

Like I said, Reimer has been one of the better goaltending values in the NHL.

 GSAx (through 3/19)2021-22 Cap HitGSAx Per $1M
Ville Husso15.56 $750,00020.75
Anton Forsberg7.86$900,0008.73
Igor Shesterkin35.03$5,666,6676.18
Frederik Andersen27.29$4,500,0006.06
Jeremy Swayman4.15$925,0004.49
Vitek Vanecek2.94$716,6674.10
Anthony Stolarz3.62$950,0003.81
Juuse Saros17.95$5,000,0003.59
Darcy Kuemper15.45$4,500,0003.43
Tristan Jarry11.82$3,500,0003.38
Ilya Sorokin12.33$4,000,0003.08
Jacob Markstrom16.65$6,000,000 2.78
James Reimer6.08$2,250,0002.70

I’ve taken Evolving Hockey’s Goals Saved Above Expected numbers (in All Situations) and divided that by the keeper’s cap hit this season — for a GSAx Per Million Dollars stat. I’ve also only counted netminders who have played 20-plus games; there are 51 such keepers right now.

So entering tonight, Reimer has been the 13th most efficient goalie in the league.

Of course, goaltending is a funny business, so it’s impossible to say if Reimer will be this good next year – nobody is suggesting that he’s untouchable this Deadline – but for sure, he’s been one of a bloated salary cap’s saving graces.

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