For many seasons the debate for the Los Angeles Kings was who would be the No. 1 guy, Bernier, or Quick?
Jonathan Quick has risen up to the challenge and not only become the Kings stand out starter, but one of the best goaltenders in the league.
Jonathan Bernier has developed well through the minors and is an NHL caliber starter. However, the Kings have such a rich pipeline, including AHL standouts Jeff Zatkoff and Martin Jones, and such a young starter in Jon Quick, that it feels inevitable Bernier makes his name elsewhere.
There are lots of teams looking for a good solid No. 1.
Here are just a few of those teams that might be in on Bernier this offseason.
It really had to be tough this year for Lightning fans in terms of goalies.
They watched Mike Smith leave this offseason and go on to Phoenix, where he has taken his game to a new level.
They also had to watch the tandem of 42-year-old Dwayne Roloson and 34-year-old Mathieu Garon backstop the team to a league-worst 3.39 goals against per game.
Tampa Bay has very little in the pipeline in terms of goalies (Tokarski, that's about it), and Bernier could conceivably step into the No. 1 role the minute he joins the team.
If there is any team that needs a young, No. 1-caliber goalie, it's Tampa Bay.
The biological clock of the New Jersey Devils' goaltending tandem is ticking, game by game.
While the oldest tandem in the league (39-year old Martin Brodeur, and 38-year old Johan Hedberg) has not been bad by any means, the Devils have to start looking toward the future.
If they don't prepare correctly, they could end up in a bad situation very quickly.
Bernier has to be high on New Jersey's possible-offseason-acquisition list considering the waning time limit on what they currently have.
The goaltending carousel they have out on the Isle is sad, but also quite comical.
For the second consecutive season, the New York Islanders have used a league-high five different goalies.
With DiPietro nursing inevitable injury season after season and inconsistent play from both Al Montoya and Evgeni Nabokov, Garth Snow might really want to finally secure the spot to someone.
Snow has been reluctant to give up on the 30-year-old DiPietro thus far, and he has young goalies in Kevin Poulin and Anders Nilsson, who while good, are not ready for the NHL yet.
With the Islanders, Bernier, like the Lightning, could conceivably step in and be ready to be the No. 1 from day one.
NYI needs to start building from the back out, and Bernier would be a nice starting piece.
Yes, Steve Mason is still only 23.
But after a Calder Trophy-winning rookie season, he has been brutal in three consecutive seasons.
To me, that's three strikes and you're out.
Granted, Columbus has not had the best defense in front of him, and apparently he wasn't wearing correctly sized pads.
But still, Mason could use a real change of scenery from the team he was drafted by.
Just in the same way the Kings traded Jack Johnson to Columbus, Bernier could be the star, and their No. 1 guy.
Mason, for whatever reason, has not been able to securely say he is an NHL No. 1 with the Blue Jackets in four seasons. Maybe the acquisition of Bernier will push Mason to better performances as well. Starting job competitions can be beneficial.
Chicago fans, before you shake your head at this one, ask yourself this: Is Corey Crawford really the guy?
Also ask yourself this one: Would Jonathan Bernier start over Crawford on day one?
And the answer is maybe. After the departure of Antti Niemi, Crawford stepped into the limelight in one of the biggest hockey markets. And while he has been on overall successful Blackhawks teams, he's been average at best.
At age 27, Crawford is not as young as people think, and in my opinion, he would be better suited as a backup than a starter.
Enter Bernier. He is young, can age with the Blackhawks, who are still very young across the lineup, and start anew there.
In games, I also feel like Bernier's calm, cool and almost casual approach will benefit the Hawks. Not to mention his fantastic puck-handling skills, which can sometimes make him as valuable as a third defenseman or help his team on the breakout.