I can’t help but comment on a mainstream media column I noted today (I didn’t read the actual story, sorry) on the heels of the NHL trade deadline day: a noteworthy columnist suggested (at least based on the newspaper headline) that Leaf GM Dave Nonis had “shown faith” in James Reimer by not acquiring a goalie at the deadline.
While that is a warm and fuzzy notion, can even Reimer himself believe this is true, regardless of what the Leaf goakeeper says publicly? By all accounts, the Leaf GM actually tried to connect with Kiprusoff personally to see if the veteran netminder would be willing to come to Toronto. Once that deal was scuttled, Roberto Luongo was next up for discussion. The only thing that seemed to prevent the highly-paid Canuck goaltender from being a member of the blue and white right now is that Vancouver would not take back any (or at least not enough) of Luongo’s massive contract.
To be clear, as I have said here for a long time, I’m perfectly OK with having Reimer be “the guy” in the Leaf net. I’ve said here regularly that I believe he could return to form. And he has played pretty darn well most nights this season. If the team plays solid and smart “team defense” in front of him, I would very much look forward to seeing Reimer get a chance to play in the playoffs.
For his part, Scrivens has done nothing to indicate he can’t play, either, so we have two relatively young guys both striving—and battling—to earn playing time. That’s a good thing.
But to suggest that Nonis in any way showed “confidence” in his goaltending tandem (Scrivens, in fact, was reportedly in the Luongo deal, had it gone through) makes no sense to me.
GM’s are always looking to improve their roster. We all get that. While I was not a fan of acquiring Luongo (ever) or Kiprusoff, I get that Nonis has a job to do, and that includes checking out possible trades.
But we’re kidding ourselves if we think Reimer should feel that he has been given a vote of confidence. He may try to tell himself that. But here’s the truth: one goalie refused to come here, the other costs too much. Otherwise, someone other than Reimer would be the new starting goalie for the Maple Leafs down the stretch—and in the playoffs.
Over time, we’ll find out if the old adage that “sometimes the best trades are the ones you don’t make” applies to Nonis in this instance—even though he was apparently ready to make a deal.
If you have any time this weekend, join us for Episode 51 of the “Leaf Matters” podcast. We cover the latast Leaf topics with our special guest, Maple Leaf Hot Stove founder Alec Brownscombe. You can catch the show (and all previous episodes) on iTunes and on the PodAlmighty Network.
Can anyone explain why the Leafs are (yet again) so reluctant to explain an injury—in this case, Joffrey Lupul’s injury? I get that teams don’t want to reveal specifics, especially at playoff time, if a guy has a bum shoulder or some other ailment that the opposition will try to take advantange of. That’s always been the case in hockey.
But why do some organizations just come out and say truthfully when a guy gets hurt (especially when being honest about concussions, which are an important health issue in society these days) but the Leafs just seem to be so afraid to tell us what we already know? I’m just a bit confused as to what the deal is. We could all see he got hit in the head and he was seriously shook up. That he won’t play in New Jersey is not only not a shock, I don’t buy this “day to day” thing”.