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Panthers Sign James Reimer to a Five-Year Contract

Panthers Sign James Reimer to a Five-Year Contract

The free agent frenzy has begun, and the biggest goalie news story of the day so far has been the Florida Panthers signing of James Reimer to a five-year contract worth $3.4M per season. The deal does not include any no-trade or no-movement clause.

Reimer played 40 games last season, split between the Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks. He posted a 17-14-7 record, with a 2.31 goals-against-average, and .922 save percentage. He was the backup in San Jose to Martin Jones during their run to the cup final, and appeared in 29 minutes of action.

InGoal has learned that starter Roberto Luongo, who tore his hip labrum in early March, could miss at least the first month of the season recovering from hip surgery in early May. The Panthers also acquired Reto Berra from the Colorado Avalanche in June, and have allowed former backup Al Montoya to leave as an unrestricted free agent. With Reimer and Berra now in place, Luongo can take his time recovering.

This also leaves the door open for some interesting situations at next year’s Las Vegas expansion draft. Luongo only has a no trade clause in his contract, and could be exposed to the expansion draft if the Panthers chooses to leave him unprotected. Depending on how next season goes, don’t be surprised to see Reimer protected and Luongo exposed.

About The Author

Greg Balloch

Greg Balloch is a Vancouver-based writer for InGoal Magazine, broadcaster for Sportsnet 650, and goaltending coach. His career began in Hamilton, Ontario with the Junior 'A' Hamilton Red Wings, before moving to Vancouver to cover the Canucks on the radio and work with the Surrey Eagles of the BCHL. A lifelong goaltender, he has been teaching the position for over a decade.