Former Leaf James Reimer's teammates present him with unique gift

Matt Garland
April 16, 2024  (8:36)

James Reimer in Toronto
Photo credit: Ed Mulholland - USA Today Sports

It was a special night on Saturday for Detroit Red Wings goaltender James Reimer. Not only was his team able to secure the two points to keep their playoff hopes alive, it was also the veteran goalie's 500th game, which ironically came against the team that drafted him 99th overall in 2006, the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Manitoba native's career in Toronto lasted for eight years with parts of three seasons being spent with the Leafs' AHL affiliate, the Toronto Marlies before getting his chance during the 2010-2011 season. He was able to find success right way, finishing his rookie season with 20 wins.
Reimer's best statistical campaign in Toronto was during the 2012-13 season. He recorded a .924 save percentage and 2.46 GAA while appearing in 33 games. Reimer led Toronto to their first playoff appearance in nine years.
Toronto would go down 3-1 to rival Boston Bruins during the first round of their playoff series. Facing elimination, Reimer would come up big to force a Game 7 in what would turn out to be one of the worst collapses in modern Maple Leafs history. Toronto blew a 4-1 lead in the third period and Reimer allowed the Patrice Bergeron goal in overtime.
Reimer would have many good and bad moments during his long stay in Toronto. It was a sentiment the veteran shared after the game.
"To come back and play my 500th here it makes it pretty special. There were some lows when I was here in Toronto with me, my family and my wife. But some incredible highs. This is where I was drafted and where I came up. I owe so much to this organization. It was fun to do it full circle in the barn where I came up. It was nice to get here too and steal a few points from them."

The 36-year-old, was given a special gift by his Detroit teammates to mark the career milestone. Reimer was gifted the admission cost to flight school. He is in the process of getting his pilot's license.
With Reimer in the back nine of his career, it is good to see him embarking on other interests away from the rink and very cool of his teammates to come up with an original gift.
With most teams having either played their final game of the season or having just 1 lone game remaining, the Red Wings are in the midst of a very tight battle for the final Wild Card spot in the East. Detroit and Washington are currently tied with 89 points each, while the Pittsburgh Penguins sit just 1 back at 88 points. Each of these 3 clubs has one game remaining, with the Pens playing the Islanders tomorrow, the Capitals playing the Flyers tonight and Reimer and the Wings playing the Canadiens tonight. This race has really come down to the wire.
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Former Leaf James Reimer's teammates present him with unique gift

Which Leaf from the infamous 2013 collapse was your favorite from that era?

Phil Kessel5220.9 %
James Van Riemsdyk4518.1 %
James Reimer5220.9 %
Nazem Kadri10040.2 %
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