Mar 25, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Fans show their support for Toronto Maple Leafs goalie James Reimer (34) before the start of their game against the St. Louis Blues at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Did the Toronto Maple Leafs Get a Deal on James Reimer?

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Just before the weekend, James Reimer inked a new two-year deal worth $4.6 million with the Toronto Maple Leafs that pays $2.6 million this season and $2.0 million in 2015-2016 as per his agent, Ray Petkau.

Questions surrounding the deal erupted in Leafs Nation. Is the deal awful? Did the Leafs overspend on a backup?

Let’s check the numbers and find out.

NHL Average Salary

Last year, the average NHLer earned $2.4 million according to Forbes’ Monte Burke. At an average cap hit of $2.3-million, that puts Optimus Reim just under the league average. So far, so good for the Leafs.

Average Goalie Salary

If you include the top-50 highest paid goalies last season, the average salary comes in at about $3.6 million according to capgeek.com. With Reimer at $2.6 million this season, he will slot in comfortably under that average salary; wedged in around the 26th-30th highest paid goalies. Karri Ramo ($2.9 million) and Michal Neuvirth ($2.6 million) both rank ahead of him while Ben Bishop ($2.4 million) and Ben Scrivens ($2.3 million) are slotted just below Reimer. Based off of average salary, Reimer seems to be on par with this collection of netminders.

Average Goalie Statistics

Uh-oh. Here is where the problems start.

Mar 8, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier (45) during their game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Flyers 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Mar 8, 2014; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier (45) during their game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Air Canada Centre. The Maple Leafs beat the Flyers 4-3 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Reimer’s GSAA (goals saved above average) doesn’t stack up well with other NHL goalies. In fact, Reimer ranked 69th on this list with a GSAA of -2.79. This GSAA score means that Reimer gave up 2.79 goals more than an average NHL goalie would have during his games played last season.

Doesn’t sound like much, right?

Consider that 68 goalies performed better than this, including his teammate, Jonathan Bernier, who registered a GSAA of 15.07. That’s 15 goals saved that the average goalie would have given up. That’s a big deal over a full-season scale.

*note: hockey-reference.com’s GSAA stat chart can be found here and an explanation of the stat can be found in Greg Balloch’s article here.

The Verdict

It’s tough to imagine Bernier standing on his head at such a high level next year. Maybe he will, but his performance was truly stellar last season when you consider how many shots he saw each night. Some regression is likely though.

But by the same token, it’s difficult to imagine Reimer suffering through another season as terrible as last year. With his track record prior to last season, his experience as a starter, and his below-average salary, the Reimer signing isn’t a bad idea – just don’t mention the whole GSAA thing to Randy Carlyle.

What do you think, Leafs Nation? Are you happy that Reimer will be donning the Leafs cap as Toronto’s backup next season?

Want more from Tip of the Tower?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix.
Enter your email and stay in the know.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

Tags: James Reimer

comments powered by Disqus