NHL

NHL Rumors: Best Fits for Kings Backup Goalie Jonathan Bernier

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 17:  Jonathan Bernier #45 of the Los Angeles Kings keeps an eye on play against the Detroit Red Wings during their NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on December 17, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Dave Sandford /Getty Images)
Dave Sandford/Getty Images
Nicholas GossCorrespondent IJune 30, 2012

The Los Angeles Kings will have the ability to improve their team after winning the Stanley Cup by trading talented backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier during the summer.

Here's the latest from Andy Strickland of TrueHockey.com:

#LAKINGS told Bernier they would look to move him once a contract with Quick was finalized

— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) June 28, 2012

Strickland also reported on the Kings' progress with Bernier.

#LAKings havent been satisfied with Jonathan Bernier offers...told they're hoping for 1st round pick

— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) June 30, 2012

Let's look at three teams who would be smart to consider trading for Bernier.

 

Toronto Maple Leafs

If Bernier is available, then it's hard to imagine the Toronto Maple Leafs not having interest, given their issues at the goaltender position.

He may be too unproven for the Leafs' liking, but he would certainly be an upgrade over what they have between the pipes right now.

Would Leafs general manager Brian Burke be willing to give up a first-round pick for a young player?

The last time Burke did that he made one of the worst trades in recent memory.

 

New Jersey Devils

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 11:  Goaltender Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils makes a glove save as Dustin Penner #25 of the Los Angeles Kings skates by in Game Six of the 2012 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 11, 2012 in Los Angeles, Cali
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

With Martin Brodeur's future with the team uncertain for the first time in a while, the Devils could be looking for a new goaltender this summer.

New Jersey would be a great fit for Bernier because if Brodeur isn't there, then Bernier would likely be the starter.

The issue for the Devils is that they probably wouldn't be able to offer Bernier a lucrative contract next summer, when he is set to become a restricted free agent.

 

Chicago Blackhawks

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 23:  Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks makes a save against the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Six of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the United Center on April 23, 2012 in Chicago,
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Blackhawks will likely be one team willing to make an upgrade at the goaltender position if the right deal comes along in the offseason.

A veteran would be the best option for Chicago, but Bernier is a better talent than current starter Corey Crawford.

The Blackhawks also have some nice prospects that could interest Los Angeles in a possible deal for Bernier.

 

Nicholas Goss is an NHL Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and was also the organization's on-site reporter for the 2011 Stanley Cup Final in Boston.

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