Panthers boost goaltending with signing of James Reimer

Neil Parker

2016-07-01

James Reimer - USA TODAY Sports Images

 

Digging into the fantasy impact of James Reimer signing with the Florida Panthers …

 

Fantasy Impact: James Reimer signed a five-year, $17 million contract ($3.4 million annual cap hit) with the Florida Panthers Friday, July 1.

 

Florida adds: A high-end backup who is capable of stepping into the starting role for stretches without significantly downgrading the quality of goaltending, Reimer is a huge insurance policy behind 37-year-old No. 1 Roberto Luongo.

Reimer's .925 save percentage at five-on-five since the 2012-13 season ranks 22nd among goalies with at least 2500 minutes played during the span. And last year, Reimer ranked second with a .957 five-on-five Sv% among goalies with at least 1000 minutes.

Additionally, after watching Anaheim, St. Louis and Dallas run a near timeshare in goal, Florida will be able to emulate that approach and keep both goalies fresh deep into the season. Plus, both Luongo and Reimer have been through deep playoff runs and should easily gel as a dynamic duo in the blue paint.

 

Fantasy Take: With 15 back-to-back games for Florida this season, and Luongo averaging 60.5 starts over the past two years, there would appear to be approximately 25 starts for Reimer in the upcoming season.

However, keeping Luongo healthy and rested could land Reimer closer to 30 starts, which would make Reimer a viable No. 3 goalie option with upside.

Over two full seasons with Florida, Luongo has a rock-solid .921 save percentage and 2.35 goals-against average with 63 wins, including 35 last year. Luongo's value is hindered, slightly, but if fewer starts are mitigated by better production when in the net, it might not be a serious fantasy blow.

View Luongo as middle-tier No. 1 goalie in all fantasy leagues.

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The real loser here is Reto Berra, as he appeared set to be the No. 2 in Florida after signing a one-year, $1.45 million contract last week. He isn't a fantasy option in the majority of seasonal leagues and a low-end option in deep dynasty/keeper setups.

 

Fantasy Players this helps, in order:

1. Reimer (profile, stats here)

 

Fantasy Players this hurts, in order:

1. Berra (profile, stats here)

2. Luongo (