James Reimer can't wait to erase last season's struggles

The veteran is now in the Motor City.



After Detroit Red Wings general manager Steve Yzerman elected not to bring back the likes of Alex Nedeljkovic and Magnus Hellberg, they were in the market for goaltending help behind starter Ville Husso. 

They found it, bringing in veteran James Reimer as well as Alex Lyon, the latter of whom started the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs as the starter for the Florida Panthers. Meanwhile, Reimer arrives in Detroit with 204 career wins over an NHL career that's lasted over a decade now.

The last two years, he's played for the basement dwelling San Jose Sharks, and he's excited for the opportunity to be part of a team on the rise like Detroit. In fact, his sister Christy may be even more excited as a Red Wings fan herself. 

"She's a die-hard Red Wings fan," Reimer said. "Not to embarrass her in any way. She was (a big Wings fan), and probably is now again. It's reborn. She was big in that (Wings dynasty) era."

Reimer has already spent considerable time with another Original 6 team in the Toronto Maple Leafs, and he appreciates the meaning of suiting up for an iconic franchise. 

"I've been blessed to play in this league for a long time, starting in Toronto, which is a big hockey market and there's lots of buzz," Reimer said. "There's a certain excitement when you play in a big market. The last couple years, I've been in smaller markets. There's something exciting about coming back to a traditional hockey market and an Original Six team.

"There's a ton of history, and that's really exciting. Then just the direction of the team."

Reimer will be teaming up with Husso in net, and will be available for when the latter needs a night off.

"When there's a good relationship, that's when you have the most success," Reimer said. "Part of it is understanding that you're both competitors, you both want to play, and it doesn't matter if there's an outright No. 1 and an outright No. 2. It's also important to understand the main focus is the team and how to give the team the best chance to win every night.

"It's the same thing for me coming in with Huss. We’re going to compete against each other and we're going to enjoy life and enjoy competing against each other. As much as we're competing for the net and we both want it, you're coming in to play as much as I can, but it's to help him play as best as he can, too, and to push him and enable him to play his best. The goal is for both guys to be playing their best. We're going to compete and have fun and push each other and drive each other to be our best."

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