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Sharks acquire Reimer in Maple Leafs trade
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SAN JOSE  (AP) — Less than a week after adding depth at defense and forward for the stretch run, the San Jose Sharks filled their last glaring hole before the trade deadline by acquiring goalie James Reimer from Toronto to serve as the backup to Martin Jones.
San Jose also got forward Jeremy Morin from the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday for struggling goalie Alex Stalock, forward Ben Smith and a conditional fourth-round pick in the 2018 draft.
The deal comes five days after the Sharks traded two future second-round picks to Toronto for defenseman Roman Polak and forward Nick Spaling.
“We identified a little while ago the things that we’d like to add coming into this deadline,” general manager Doug Wilson said. “I think we’ve accomplished most of it so far.”
Reimer, who has started 188 games the past six seasons for Toronto, has a 2.19 goals-against average and .918 save percentage this season. Reimer also has playoff experience, posting a .923 save percentage in seven games against Boston three teams ago. The 27-year-old is a pending unrestricted free agent.
“It’s a good franchise,” Reimer said. “They have a great team and are poised to do some great things. I’m really excited to do what I can to make this as successful as possible.”
Reimer looks forward to the opportunity to go from a team at the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings to one firmly in playoff position in the West. San Jose is in third place in the Pacific Division, with a 10-point cushion over Arizona and Vancouver.
The Sharks previously dealt second-round picks in 2017 and 2018 to Toronto for defenseman Roman Polak and forward Nick Spaling. The two deals Wilson made satisfied his goals of upgrading the current roster without sacrificing a key contributor on the roster, a 2016 draft pick or one of the young prospects San Jose has added in the past two years.
“We like where our team is at,” Wilson said. “We look forward to the stretch run. The players and coaches have certainly earned with their efforts and performances for us to add some of these pieces to make us a better team.”
The Sharks were seeking an upgrade at backup goalie as Stalock had struggled this season and had apparently lost the confidence of the coaching staff. Stalock had started just three games in more than two months and his .884 save percentage was the lowest among all goalies this season who played at least 500 minutes.
Finding a backup who can give Jones a break down the stretch was a priority. With four sets of back-to-backs remaining this season, including Sunday in Vancouver followed by a Monday home against Montreal.
Reimer is not expected to join the team until next week, so San Jose called up Aaron Dell from the AHL to give the Sharks a backup until Reimer arrives.
“Alex Stalock is going through a little bump in the road where he didn’t get an opportunity to play a lot,” Wilson said. “He will bounce back and be a very good player in this league and have a very good career. We’re just in a window right now with the stretch run, we have to be on all cylinders to play well down the stretch to be ready for the season after that.”
Morin has spent the season in the AHL.