As we float through the NHL’s dead zone of the offseason, there remains only one real question with this Los Angeles Kings team as we head into the new season: what will become of Jonathan Bernier?
Goaltender Jonathan Bernier has asked for a trade from the Kings on more than one occasion this summer, though he still remains in Hollywood. You can’t really blame him for wanting out, as the 10-year deal Jonathan Quick received this summer likely squashes any chance he ever had of starting for the Kings.
The trade market around the league is thin right now, as teams don’t want to overpay. This relates to the Kings in particular, who are dealing from a position of strength and don’t actually need to deal Bernier. They’re probably asking a lot.
As thin as the market is overall, it’s even thinner for goaltenders. The Florida Panthers need a goaltender, but only if it’s Roberto Luongo. The Toronto Maple Leafs need a starter, but don’t want to overpay, though we have heard a possibility of a deal surrounding Bernier and Matt Frattin. And the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets appear set between the pipes for now.
The lack of a need for goaltending around the league has left the Kings dragging their feet in attempting to deal Bernier. And that’s perfectly fine. They don’t need to be in a rush to deal him. With a goaltender that has the potential that Bernier posses, a deal will take place soon.
I still completely expect it to be the Maple Leafs that take the bait and deal for Jonathan Bernier, but it may be even a few more weeks before anything comes close to nearing fruition.