The Los Angeles Kings are starting to regain their mojo of late. More importantly, Jonathan Quick has shaken off whatever rustiness he had after undergoing offseason back surgery and is now starting to look like the Vezina finalist/Conn Smythe winner that we saw last year.
Which means that very soon we are going to start hearing Jonathan Bernier‘s name out on the rumor mill once again. But should the Kings be interested in shopping their backup netminder?
The Kings were believed to have been shopping Bernier last summer, especially after he requested a trade. After Quick signed a 10-year contract extension, you can understand why he may want out. But the back surgery for Quick, along with the lockout, led to Bernier sticking around.
His numbers on the year are very solid, especially for a no. 2 guy. He’s 4-1-0 on the season, with a very good 1.64 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage. He’s also only 24, which makes him even more appealing as an option for teams.
Though the picture isn’t quite as clear now, there are going to be some teams in the market for a goaltender. More importantly, there could be teams in the market for a goaltender that are trying to build for the future at the same time, which is where Bernier would come in.
He’s still a young goaltender, obviously, and can fetch a fair amount of value. Potentially more than Roberto Luongo. If he continues to put up numbers like he is right now, the Kings would have a long list of takers to choose from. And if that’s the case, they should look to move him.
The Kings need some help on offense. They’re in the bottom half of the league in scoring again, and could also probably use an impact defenseman. Whether or not they choose to shop Bernier, though, remains to be seen. It would be the right move, but there’s also nothing wrong with rolling with two capable netminders. Stay tuned.