Yesterday the Toronto Maple Leafs traded goaltender James Reimer and forward Jeremy Morin to the San Jose Sharks for goaltender Alex Stalock and forward Ben Smith along with a conditional fourth-round draft pick in 2018.
For San Jose the benefit is clear, they get Alex Stalock off their roster, which they have been trying to do for over a year, and they get a fairly good back up goalie for Jones going into the playoffs. The Maple Leafs motivation behind the trade is much less clear. This is made especially evident by the fact that Stalock was placed on waivers already just 12 hours after the trade. I have yet to find anyone who had something positive to say for the Maple Leafs about this trade. Don Cherry was the most blunt and vocal in saying that it was a mistake. On Coach's Corner yesterday Cherry stated, "You never get rid of a guy like Reimer, you're going to rue the day."
James Reimer right now has a save percentage for the 32 games he has played this season of .918 with a career average of .914. This compares to Alex Stalock's season save percentage of .884 over 13 games and career average of .911. If Reimer can get back to the stellar season play he was having prior to the last few weeks he is a clear improvement for the Sharks back up goaltender. Reimer may be just a short term solution for the Sharks for post season 2016 as he goes UFA at the end of the year. The main concern I have for Reimer long term is that he has in the past been somewhat injury prone.
With this last trade yesterday the Sharks are rumored to be done with all the trades they will make before tomorrow's deadline. The coaching and management staff all seem to think that the Sharks now have the best lineup they can hope for going into the playoffs this year.