With Jonathan Quick Locked Up, Kings Focus Will Shift To Jonathan Bernier

By Randy Holt

The Los Angeles Kings completed the most important part of their summer on Thursday, signing Jonathan Quick to a 10-year extension that will keep him in Hollywood for most, if not all, of his career.

Given the season we just saw from Quick, it was obviously a necessary deal and a good one for both sides for the most part, as Quick’s cap hit shouldn’t hurt the Kings too badly down the road.

With him now locked up, the Kings now are expected to shift their focus to the trade market and field offers for backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who has reportedly requested a trade this summer. For a kid who is still just 23 and looking for a chance to play, you can understand this kind of request.

Drafted in 2006, Bernier was the 11th overall pick of the Kings in that draft and there were even questions at one point whether or not it’d be Quick or Bernier as the future of the LA crease.

Bernier is still considered to be a kid with big potential, but obviously won’t be able to realize it in Los Angeles, where Quick now has the starting spot locked down for the next decade. And he could bring back a decent return on a market thin on goaltenders.

As of right now, the biggest name on the goaltending market is Roberto Luongo and not much else, with Sergei Bobrovsky already being traded and Tim Thomas apparently taking a year off. That could leave a handful of teams in on Bernier, who still has a year left on his entry level contract.

The fact that he won’t cost much for this year and his new team would be able to control his future should make him an appealing trade candidate. If the Kings are to actively shop him this summer, they should have no problem finding a suitor. Look no further than a team like the Chicago Blackhawks or Toronto Maple Leafs to be in on Bernier.

But, of course, with nearly the entire roster in tact heading into next season already, the Kings don’t have to be in a rush to trade Bernier. They could hang onto him and force a team to overpay during the season, or end up dealing him now. His situation will be an interesting one to watch as the market develops in the coming weeks.

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