NHL rumors: James Reimer requests trade from Maple Leafs

James Reimer had a .911 save percentage last season. (Getty Images)
James Reimer had a .911 save percentage last season. (Getty Images)

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For some time it's been pretty clear that the Toronto Maple Leafs and goaltender James Reimer have had a declining relationship. The odds were already relatively high that he would be leaving town but just in case that wasn't clear, apparently he wanted the Leafs to know he'd welcome it too.

Late in the season it was reported that Reimer would ask for a trade and now he apparently has, according to Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet. This comes just a year after he was the incumbent starter in Toronto.

Really, can you blame him for wanting out? He had a very solid season in 2013 in which he was a large reason why they reached the playoffs finally, but the Maple Leafs surrendered a three-goal lead in Boston and again the goaltending was made a scape goat. Despite a .924 save percentage, the Leafs went out and traded for Jonathan Bernier, who quickly became the top option in the Maple Leafs net.

Now in the first season, it worked out well enough for the Leafs as Bernier proved to be ready for a top gig, but it left Reimer on the bench more often than not. Matters only got worse when Randy Carlyle's assessment of Reimer after a game -- "he was OK" -- seemed to rub the goalie the wrong way. Add that to other things such as the Toronto media contacting Reimer's parents about his health status a few years back and the organization getting upset about it and it was never a completely solid situation.

Reimer is a restricted free agent at this point but there had already been plenty of speculation that he could be on his way out anyway. That talk only picked up when the Leafs reportedly reached out to Martin Brodeur in the free-agent courting window.

And more interesting is Kypreos saying there was some chatter between the Leafs and Winnipeg Jets at the draft over the weekend.

The Jets obviously have Ondrej Pavelec already but he is undoubtedly one of the worst starting goalies in the league; his save percentage fell to .901 last season in 57 starts. The Jets have been clear that he will remain their guy but a chance to get Reimer would make a lot of sense; let the best man win. Not to mention Reimer hails from Manitoba.

The goaltending market is really interesting this summer as in there doesn't appear to really be much of one but Reimer, especially in a fresh start, would make for a nice addition for almost any team in the league given his career .914 save percentage in four seasons.

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