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May 4, 2014 | 5:02pm ET
Could Leafs let Reimer walk?
TheFourthPeriod.com

The Toronto Maple Leafs have to decide what route they want to take with goaltender James Reimer, who is set to become a restricted free agent July 1.

The Leafs must submit a qualifying offer on Reimer if they want to retain his rights, but an unnamed NHL executive told the Toronto Sun that might not be their best move.

"If I'm the Leafs, I don't make him a qualifying offer," the executive told the paper. "The reason, you can't get much for him in a trade. So by signing him, you're paying too much for a backup goalie and you may get stuck with the contact. I'd rather cut my losses, let him go, and sign a veteran to backup Jonathan Bernier."

If the Leafs decide to qualify Reimer, they will almost certainly look to trade his rights, as the relationship has all but come to an end.

The native of Morweena, Manitoba, posted a 12-16-1 record with the Leafs this season, along with a 3.29 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage.

Reimer, 26, was reportedly tossed into head coach Randy Carlyle's doghouse for much of the last two seasons and last summer's acquisition of Bernier from the Los Angeles Kings meant his time in Toronto was running out.

In addition to Reimer, the Maple Leafs have several other players to focus on this off-season as President Brendan Shanahan and GM Dave Nonis look to retool the roster for the 2014-15 campaign.

Pending unrestricted free agents like Mason Raymond, Dave Bolland, Nikolai Kulemin, Paul Ranger and Jay McClement are in need of new deals, while it has been widely reported that the futures of center Nazem Kadri, defensemen Carl Gunnarsson, Cody Franson and Jake Gardiner, and winger Joffrey Lupul could be in question.

Shanahan and Nonis are expected to make a decision on Carlyle's fate as early as this week, as what the team does behind the bench could be the first of many moves made this off-season.


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