People still want to single out James Reimer as the fall guy for the Maple Leafs missing the playoffs. It’s not fair to put the blame squarely on him but I guess it goes with the territory of playing in Toronto. It is only now that experts are coming to the realization that goaltending wasn’t the problem for the Leafs to begin with, it was their defense. I don’t like to say I told you so but here’s what I said back in January.
Reimer deserves better than the way he is being treated right now, by the team, media, and fake fans. He has done well since he took over as the starting goaltender in 2011. Always kept the team in the game and even stole one or two when the offense was struggling. Reimer was the reason the Leafs were able to get into the playoffs in 2013. It is too bad that he may end up getting traded to another team.
I hope Dave Nonis (or whoever the GM of the day is) gets some good players or draft picks in return. But in my experience, that may be wishful thinking. Toronto sports fans and the media are notorious for de-valuing players down to a point where they become virtually untradable. Remember Larry Murphy? The Leafs paid a lot to bring in the Hockey Hall of Famer from Pittsburgh in 1995 to anchor the defense corps. But people knocked him around for his inconsistency and it forced the team to give him away to Detroit two years later. Most recently, former Blue Jays catcher JP Arencibia got the same treatment in Toronto. These folks could care less about how well or how bad the team plays yet they have the ability to set the bar where they like.
But back to Reimer, I hope he goes to a team that he can help lead into the playoffs and perhaps one day win the Stanley Cup. The sad part is he is not going to be doing it with the Maple Leafs. Players want to come to Toronto to finish their playing career but lately it is becoming more of a place where playing careers go to die.