Shortly after the Los Angeles Kings won their first ever Stanley Cup, they signed their Conn Smythe winning goaltender Jonathan Quick to a 10-year contract. With Quick being the clear cut starter for the Kings, this severely decreases the odds that backup goalie Jonathan Bernier will ever become a #1 goaltender while on the Kings. It was said that Bernier originally asked for a trade at the deadline a few months ago, and has again recently stated he would like to be traded. The market for top goalies is very thin as many have already been signed such as Carey Price, Ondrej Pavelec, Cory Schneider, Tuukka Rask, and some others during free agency. With Bernier asking for a trade, this creates a chance for a team to grab a good goaltender with loads of potential. Playing in only 48 games since the 07-08 season, Bernier has collected a .910 save % and a 2.50 GAA, which isn’t too bad for a 23 year old who has only held a backup job. So what teams can be in on Bernier? The New Jersey Devils, Toronto Maple Leafs, Chicago Blackhawks, and Tampa Bay Lightning may be the best place for Bernier.
The Devils have two goaltenders over the age of 39 signed for another 2 years and who better than Martin Brodeur than to be the mentor for Bernier over the next year or two. Bernier has a very good chance of being the next franchise goalie for the Devils.
The Maple Leafs are currently searching for a goaltender to lead their team and they have been reported many times to be going after Roberto Luongo. However, Luongo’s contract may hurt rather than help. Bernier can come into the Leafs organization and become that goalie they have been searching for.
Corey Crawford had a rough regular season and ended it with a disappointing playoff run. The Blackhawks have also been searching for a goalie since Antti Niemi signed with the San Jose Sharks and now may have interest in Bernier. A Crawford-Bernier duo in well not only provide depth in goal, but also create healthy competition between the two making each other better like it did for Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliot.
The Lightning have traded for Anders Lindback, but can he handle the starting job right away? Bernier and Lindback become the youngest goaltending duo in the NHL and the Lightning may have the best depth in goal for many years making them contenders once again.
Since Bernier was a former 1st round pick, the Kings will most likely demand a 1st round pick plus some. With the market dwindling on young talented goaltenders, there is a good chance a desperate team or two may overpay for him. Where do you feel Jonathan Bernier will end up? Also, what will the Kings want for Bernier?