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The San Jose finally solved their search for a backup goalie as they made another deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs finishing the week as they started it acquiring James Reimer and Jeremy Morin for Alex Stalock, Ben Smith and a conditional 2018 fourth round pick. The condition on the fourth round pick is that it would become a third rounder in 2018 should the Sharks make this year’s Stanley Cup Finals. At this point, I have a hard time believing that the Sharks would add any more significant pieces before the February 29th trade deadline but don’t rule out moving spare parts for picks.
The Sharks Get
James Reimer: James Reimer is a 27-year-old goaltender who while on the Toronto Maple Leafs managed some decent numbers with his 11-12-7 record with a 2.49 GAA and a .918 SV% and in my opinion could probably be a starting goalie at some point in his career. In his six years of NHL experience with a very bad Leafs team, he has a record of 85-76-23 with a 2.84 GAA and a .914. He currently makes $2.3 M against the cap and will be an Unrestricted Free Agent at the conclusion of the year. The Sharks could potentially keep him in the fold going forward unless someone throws silly money at him to be their starter.
Jeremy Morin: Jeremy Morin is a 24-year-old player who can play either wing effectively and has had a decent scoring touch in the AHL but has not yet been able to translate it to the NHL game. He has no issues going into the tough areas and has decent stickhandling and shooting skills. While he will probably finish out the year for the San Jose Barracuda he could be called on in an emergency situation for the bottom six. He currently has a cap hit of $800 K and is a restricted free agent at year’s end. This is a player the Sharks will likely keep in the offseason for a minimal pay raise.
The Leafs Get
Alex Stalock: Alex Stalock is a 28-year-old goaltender who has spent his entire career with the San Jose Sharks organisation. He endeared himself to Shark fans after coming back from a terrible injury that threatened to end his career and for pushing Antti Niemi in a backup role. Unfortunately, Stalock has struggled this year with a dreadful 2.94 GAA and .884 SV% costing him the confidence of both head coach Peter DeBoer and the fan base alike. Stalock currently carries a cap hit of $1.6 M and is a pending UFA at the end of the year.
Ben Smith: The Sharks acquired now 27-year-old Ben Smith in a trade that saw Andrew Desjardins go to the Chicago Blackhawks. Unfortunately, for Smith, he was never quite able to secure a spot in DeBoers lineup. To make matters worse when he was finally able to enter the lineup he was injured by a shot that hit him in the ear giving him a concussion. After that, he was never able to stick finally being sent to the San Jose Barracuda where he scored 8 goals and 2 assists in 14 games. He currently makes $1.5 M against the cap and is a pending UFA.
This is a great trade by Doug Wilson, the only thing that he really gave up in this deal was the fourth round pick as Alex Stalock and Ben Smith would have likely both not resigned in the offseason and lost for nothing. They gain a goalie that can play big minutes if needed and could even be resigned in the offseason and kept going forward at the right price. Should Reimer leave in the summer the Sharks will have plenty of free agent options including goalies like Al Montoya who has played very well with minimal starts and would fit well behind Jones. The Sharks didn’t give up anything that they were not going to lose anyway for the peace of mind that Martin Jones can finally get some rest to prepare for what the Sharks are hoping is a long playoff run.