The Leafs have traded away goaltender James Reimer and forward Jeremy Morin to the San Jose Sharks for goaltender Alex Stalock, Ben Smith and a conditional fourth round pick in 2018. The fourth rounder could become a third round pick in 2018, should the Sharks make the Stanley Cup Final.
.@MapleLeafs acquire G Alex Stalock, F Ben Smith & conditional 2018 4th-round pick from San Jose Sharks for G James Reimer & F Jeremy Morin.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) February 27, 2016
Reimer joins former Leafs Roman Polak and Nick Spaling as they were traded to the Sharks earlier in the week.
Essentially, this gives the Sharks an excellent one- two punch in net for a deep run in the playoffs. Reimer has a goals against average of 2.49 and a save percentage of .918. Reimer will get another opportunity at a Cup after he carried the Leafs to the playoffs during the lockout-shortened season in 2012/13, posting a 2.46 goals against average and a .924 save percentage.
Considering the team that was in front of him this year, Reimer had some really great numbers to improve his stock and bring in a fourth (possibly third) round pick.
Reimer is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so there is some sense in trading him and trying to get some assets in return.
Ultimately, this also adds to the “Lose For Matthews, 2016” cause.
The Sharks also get Jeremy Morin. The Leafs acquired Morin in exchange for Richard Panik in January. With a deep bottom six that has been doing a fantastic job for the Sharks, it looks like Morin will report to their American Hockey League affiliate, the Barracuda.
For the Leafs, the players we received won’t have any significant impact. Both Stalock and Smith are both unrestricted free agents at season’s end. Stalock will look to be the backup for the time being, while Smith will most likely report to the Marlies, but can be called up to keep some of our prospects in the development stage.
In 13 games this year, Stalock has a 3-5-2 record with a 2.94 goals against average and a .884 save percentage. His playtime will be limited as Bernier is now the number one goalie for the Leafs.
As mentioned before, Smith, 27, will likely see most of his time in the AHL. Smith hasn’t registered a point in six games this year. He has eight goals and 10 points in 14 games with the Barracuda this year. He’s missed a good chunk of the season due to injuries, an upper body injury and a concussion, which caused him to miss 18 games.
With Reimer gone, this is a prime opportunity for Bernier to prove that he is a number one goalie and that he is the guy for the Leafs going forward. Earlier in the season, he was sent down to the Marlies for a conditioning stint after a horrible start to the season. I talked more about Bernier in my season preview
With Reimer gone, the door is open for Bernier to run away with the starter position. Should he fail to impress, then the Leafs will continue to have a question mark in goal.
The moves keep on coming. Who will be next?