A difficult season for James Reimer may have reached its end.
Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said Thursday the organization may be faced with shutting down the young goaltender for the rest of the season as the result of his recurrence of concussion-like symptoms.
Reimer missed his scheduled start on Tuesday when he began to feel unwell after the morning skate.
"There will be probably a point that there'll be a decision made if he's going to return or not," Carlyle said. "That's in the medical people's hands right now. We just have to wait for clearance from everybody involved to put the player back on the ice."
Reimer was out 18 games earlier in the year after taking a Brian Gionta hit in the Leafs seventh game of the season. When healthy, however, his numbers have sharply declined from where they were in his rookie season, which earned him a three year contract at $1.8-million a season.
At this point, with Toronto's remaining five games essentially meaningless, shutting Reimer down to give him the maximum amount of recovery time makes a lot of sense.
In Reimer's absence, Jonas Gustavsson will get the start against the Philadelphia Flyers and could end up playing the majority of the Leafs remaining games.
Carlyle also spoke Thursday about the Leafs recent goalie carousel at the backup position that saw Jussi Rynnas join the team Tuesday night, go back to the Marlies in favour of Ben Scrivens for Wednesday's practice and then have the two switch places again on Thursday.
The move was made to give Scrivens, the franchise's top minor-league netminder, an NHL payday, something Carlyle said he had earned. The team's brass want Scrivens playing for the Marlies rather than backing up in the NHL, however, which is why Rynnas is back in a Leafs uniform.
"The player deserved an opportunity to earn NHL dollars for a day," Carlyle said. "A little bit of a reward."
Scrivens earned roughly $2,800 more on Wednesday practising with the Leafs instead of the Marlies.
That's what players call "Show Money."
- Eric Lindros took part in the morning skate with the Flyers, after GM Paul Holmgren invited him down for a skate at the Air Canada Centre. The Big E looked a little like The Really Big E but seemed to have a good time going through the NHL paces.
Fellow "old guy" Jaromir Jagr had a couple good lines on Lindros afterwards. "If I can play, why not? He's younger than me," Jagr said of Lindros potentially making a comeback. "He would have to lose some pounds. Maybe 20. But it's easy to do."
- David Steckel left practice early Wednesday with a lower body injury and is a game-time decision against the Flyers. Carlyle said his checking line would consist of Tim Connolly, Carter Ashton and Joey Crabb if Steckel is a no-go.
- Carlyle on Nazem Kadri, who remains with the Marlies: "You can see that Kadri's not that far away, for sure. If we weren't in the emergency [call-up]situation, he would be a guy that would be getting a lot more of a look right now. But we cannot bring people up and down because of the four recall [rule after the trade deadline]"
- The Leafs burned their four recalls almost right away, using them to send Jake Gardiner and Matt Frattin down and up (and make them eligible for the AHL playoffs) and to recall Jay Rosehill and Ashton.
In hindsight, the organization should have used one of those spots for someone like Kadri, to give him more experience at the NHL level heading into the off-season. Ashton isn't playing much and doesn't appear to be benefiting from his time with the big club.