Looking to fill their need for a backup goaltender, the Detroit Red Wings went for a short-term solution in journeyman veteran James Reimer. The 35-year-old with 13 seasons of NHL experience was inking a one-year pact worth $1.5 million.
The club also was signing another journeyman goalie with NHL experience in Alex Lyon. He’s likely to play as the No. 1 netminder for Detroit’s AHL farm club the Grand Rapids Griffins. Lyon agreed to a two-year deal worth $900,000 per season.
— Ray Petkau (@RayPetkau) July 1, 2023
The Red Wings will be Reimer’s fourth team over the past six seasons. He’s also played with the San Jose Sharks, Carolina Hurricanes and Florida Panthers over that span.
Reimer’s numbers have worsened through each of his past three campaigns. Last season with the Sharks, Reimer was posting career worsts in goals-against average (3.48) and save percentage (.890). His 21 losses were the most he’s suffered in a single season, while his 12 wins were the fewest for Reimer since he won nine games for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2014-15.
Reimer Embroiled In Controversy
Reimer got himself into hot water in San Jose last season through his refusal to participate in the Sharks’ Pride Night celebration. Reimer wouldn’t wear the pride-themed Sharks jersey during the warm up for the game.
Speaking to San Jose Hockey Now, Reimer didn’t believe that his stance would impact his chances of landing a free-agent contract, and his quick signing with the Red Wings was proving that assessment to be correct.
“I think that my reputation and my play are the biggest things,” Reimer said. “I think that by now, people know who I am and what I’m about, what I can bring to the team and the locker room.”
Lyon Helped Panthers Playoff Run
Lyon, 30, is another journeyman veteran who was certainly proving his value last season with the Florida Panthers. Following his recall from the AHL Charlotte Checkers, Lyon went 9-4-2 with a 2.82 GAA and .914 save percentage. His play would be hepingf the Panthers squeak into the NHL playoffs, a precursor to Florida’s run to the Stanley Cup final.
Lyon began the postseason as Florida’s No. 1 goalie, ultimately giving way to Sergei Bobrovsky.