About last season: performance review and rating by James Reimer

James Reimer Season 2020-21 in numbers

  • Age: 33
  • NHL Seasons: 11
  • Statistics: 22GP, 15-5-2, .906 SV%, 2.66 GAA
  • Contract status: 2-year contract signed with San Jose for $ 2.25 million AAV

Let’s start with the most important part of this review. James Reimer received a lot of criticism from Carolina Hurricanes fans last season and most of it was unnecessary.

His stats weren’t great with a .906 save percentage and 2.66 goals against average. However, there is one stat that matters most to goalkeepers and that is wins versus losses. Reimer is 15-5-2 this season and 29-11-4 overall in the Hurricanes uniform. Think about it a bit. He’s won almost twice as many games as he lost for Carolina.

Let’s put this in a little more perspective. Reimer’s main counterpart during his time in Carolina was Petr Mrazek. In the same two seasons, Mrazek was 27-18-5 with an SV% of .909 and GAA of 2.55. Mrazek was adored by fans but Reimer was seen as a scapegoat. The reality is they were basically the same in the regular season.

Originally introduced as part of the deal that sent Scott Darling to Florida (remind me again how Don Waddell pulled this off?) Reimer had the ability to provide the team with a calming net presence. He created a good balance with Mrazek, who was much wilder at net. Reimer isn’t a super flashy goalie, but he made some key saves at the most important moment, like this:

He’s also been a star in the shootout competition, going 3-1 this season and 6-1 overall for the Canes. Given his ability to get ahead of his opponent combined with his 6-foot-3 frame, Reimer had everything he needed to be successful in the skills competition.

With Mrazek missing most of the season this year, the net really belonged to Reimer and Alex Nedeljkovic. Once Mrazek returned from injury, the decision was made to relegate Reimer to the press gallery despite having played just four games in April. Prior to that point, he had had three different four-game winning streaks, including an eight-game winning streak. Simply put, without Reimer, the Hurricanes don’t win the Central Division.

It’s hard to see Reimer quit his new contract in San Jose, mainly because his replacement goaltenders had a worse GPA in the past two years and Reimer was beloved by his teammates. Only time will tell if this will work in Carolina’s favor, but for now, our best wishes to Optimus Reim with the Sharks.

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