The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded goaltender James Reimer to the San Jose Sharks ahead of the trade deadline, according to Pierre LeBrun of ESPN.
The Maple Leafs acquired Alex Stalock and forward Ben Smith along with a fourth-round draft pick in 2018 for Reimer. LeBrun reports that Reimer will likely take over as the backup for Martin Jones with the Sharks. The Maple Leafs also sent Jeremy Morin in the deal for the Sharks. Reimer has put up an 11-12-7 record this season with a 2.19 goals-against average and .918 save percentage.
Reimer is heading towards free agency and the move fits in with what the Maple Leafs have been doing over the past year. The team is in a heavy rebuilding phase and the Leafs have made multiple trades ahead of the deadline to add draft picks to build for the future. Before the Reimer trade, the team had already acquired a number of draft picks, and potentially could have 12 for the 2016 NHL draft.
The Maple Leafs have 10 picks for the 2016 draft already and they also have two conditional picks. The team will acquire the first round pick for the Pittsburgh Penguins if the Pens make the playoffs as part of the Phil Kessel trade. Toronto also will acquire a sixth round pick from the Blues if Olli Jokinen plays in the Stanley Cup Final.
The Maple Leafs have continued to make moves with eyes on the future, trading players like Dion Phaneuf, Shawn Matthias, Roman Polak and Nick Spaling ahead of the deadline. The team has also decided to shut down forwards James van Riemsdyk and Joffrey Lupul instead of having them return from injuries this season.
The Maple Leafs are in the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings this season with a 21-29-10 record and 52 points.