The Los Angeles Kings finally appear ready to deal backup goalie Jonathan Bernier and the Toronto Maple Leafs are reportedly one of the teams interested. ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun also reports the Philadelphia Flyers, New York Islanders, Minnesota Wild, and Florida Panthers are in the mix as well.
Bernier has become expendable in recent years since Jonathan Quick has emerged as one of the NHL’s elite netminders. The Kings signed Quick to a 10-year contract extension, so it doesn’t make sense to re-sign Bernier, who is now a RFA. The former first-round pick had a 9-3-1 record in 2013 with a 1.87 goals against average and a .922 save percentage.
James Reimer has been solid in his short career with the Leafs, but questions continue to linger about his small sample size and rebound control. Despite his strong performance in 2013 and in the playoffs, Bernier is a solid young goaltender and would create a healthy competition between the two.