The annual goalie carousel at the beginning of free agency has come and gone but there still could be some trade activity involving netminders. San Jose still has three NHL goalies and while they’ve said they’d be comfortable keeping all three to start the season, that’s usually not an ideal scenario.
That hasn’t stopped GM Mike Grier from placing a high asking price for James Reimer, however, as Sheng Peng reports in his latest column for NBC Sports Bay Area that the Sharks are asking for a second-round pick to move the veteran. If Reimer was the one to go, that would then have San Jose enter next season with a tandem of Kaapo Kahkonen and Adin Hill who has been cleared for training camp after missing most of the last three months of 2021-22.
In a vacuum, a second-round pick for a capable backup like Reimer isn’t crazy. The 34-year-old is coming off a year that saw him post a .911 SV% in 48 games, a mark that was above the NHL average despite the fact he was on a team that came up well short of making the playoffs. He’d represent an upgrade for several teams and with a $2.25MM AAV, he’s one of the cheaper veteran backups compared to deals that have been handed out over the past year or so.
But with most goalie situations settled, Grier will be hard-pressed to get that type of value for Reimer. Sure, Vegas could use a goalie with Robin Lehner out but if they do look to make a move, it stands to reason that they’d look for more of a proven starter and Reimer isn’t that type of player. The Flyers could need a backup with Ivan Fedotov‘s uncertain short-term future but fitting him in on the cap would be tricky. Arizona needs a second-stringer but with them not really focused on winning, their preference might be to look on waivers for a cheaper option over trading a good draft pick for a player they’d ultimately look to flip a few months later at the trade deadline.
With that in mind, it’s difficult to see Grier being able to find a taker for Reimer at that asking price. The safer play for the new GM might be to see how things go in training camp and see if an injury or two shakes up the landscape a little bit. Again, it’s rarely ideal for a team to enter a season with three capable netminders but in this case, it might be the right call for the Sharks if they can’t get their desired trade return for Reimer.
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