James Reimer clutched his three-iron during interviews on Monday, asked in jest if he'd keep it handy for future crease crashers.

Reimer suffered severe head and neck pain early last season when Brian Gionta of the Canadiens banged into him during an Oct. 22 game in Montreal. No one knew the significance of the incident as Reimer's hot start of 4-0-1 became a season-long struggle for health and consistency, directly affecting the Leafs in another non-playoff year. Reimer's mind and mechanics were so messed up in the second half that a search for a veteran goalie was launched in earnest when playoffs began.

But as spring gave way to summer and general manager Brian Burke was unable to land a star such as Roberto Luongo, Reimer was hard at work in Kelowna, B.C., getting his groove back. With no other options, Burke is taking a leap of faith that Reimer can play at the NHL level a whole season.