*I'll be honest, I don't even know what the hell this title even means, but it gave me a chuckle, so I hope I get a cheap laugh out of ya'*
You know what really grinds my gears?
James Reimer has been a forgotten player amongst the Leafs' prospect cupboard.
Take a look at his statistics throughout his career thus far:
Red Deer Rebels (WHL)
2005-06: 34 GP, 2.81 GAA, .910 SV%
2006-07: 60 GP, 2.66 GAA, .912 SV%, 3 SO
2007-08: 30 GP, 2.73 GAA, .916 SV%, 1 SO
Reading Royals (ECHL)
2008-09: 14 GP, 3.43 GAA, .901 SV%
2008-09: 1 GP, 1.85 GAA, .926 SV%
I know what you're thinking. Not exactly earth shattering stats, right?
But consider this: Reimer has had the misfortune of backstopping mediocre teams throughout his entire career.
And that hasn't changed for the year 2009. Reimer has earned his spot on the Leafs' ECHL affiliate, but he's been granted a woeful team in the Reading Royals (13-25-2 record - good enough for second last in the league).
As far as his game is concerned, hockeyfutures.com wrote the following:
"Reimer doesn't have much of a problem filling the net. His style has been described as simply coming out of the crease and challenging shooters to find space around his large frame. When he is on his game, the lanky netminder uses his size to cut down angles and plays a controlled game. He also displays decent puckhandling skills." - HF
Sounds similar to Justin Pogge. And considering Leafs fans have witnessed just how important size can be between the pipes (I'm not pointing any fingers, but I'm pointing directly at you, Vesa Toskala), the large frames of the Leafs' upcoming goaltending prospects will be greatly appreciated.
In terms of Reimer's future, there is a variety of scenarios that could unfold:
Scenario #1 (Most Likely):
Justin Pogge becomes the Leafs' starting goaltender for the 2009/10 season, leaving the door open for Reimer as the Marlies' goaltender.
Scenario #2 (Likely):
The Leafs pursue other options between the pipes, and continue to let Pogge develop in the AHL, forcing Reimer to either a) stay with the Royals in the ECHL, which would allow him to log more ice-time, or b) serve as Pogge's back-up in the AHL, injecting a healthy dose of competition between the two.
Scenario #3 (Unlikely):
Toskala is traded at Trade Deadline, Pogge is called-up as starting goaltender, and the Leafs enter the 09-10 season with a young goaltending tandem of Pogge – Reimer.
Pertaining to scenario #1, I think this would be the most feasible and approachable option for the Leafs right now. While Reimer has progressed nicely, he is still at the tender age of 20, so some seasoning is still required if he is to maximize his potential.
Best case scenario: Leafs fans are treated with a future goaltending tandem of Pogge – Reimer and the duo compete for the starting role, which a) inserts some healthy competition between the pipes, and b) assures the Leafs of the more talented goaltender (Tukka Rask...*sigh*).