NHL Trade Speculation: 3 Reasons LA Kings Need to Move Jonathan Bernier Now

Jason Lewis@@SirJDLCorrespondent IIAugust 7, 2012

NHL Trade Speculation: 3 Reasons LA Kings Need to Move Jonathan Bernier Now

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    We are just a little over a month from the start of training camps, and the L.A. Kings still haven't dealt with the uncertain future of young goaltender Jonathan Bernier.

    Bernier recently told TVA Sports (h/t NHL.com) that "he expected to be traded out of L.A."

    Yet, here we are, about a month later, and there's little to report on the front of the Kings. 

    There have been rumors of interest from the Maple Leafs (via Toronto Sun) and the Blue Jackets (Columbus Dispatch).

    It would be well advised for the Stanley Cup champs to move the high-potential Bernier soon, and here's why:

Value

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    The Kings sit in a situation much like the Blue Jackets did with Rick Nash. Of course, it's a little more low profile than that.

    But just like the Blue Jackets, the longer the Kings hold on to Bernier with the knowledge that he wants to be traded, the worse return they will get.

    Look at it this way, if you know that Bernier wants to leave, and you know that the Kings want to trade him, would you be offering up more to them or less?

    As the saga progresses, the pressure on the Kings to move him will rise, and they will likely take a deal that isn't of fair value because it will be the best they can get.

    Plain and simple, the Kings will get better value for Bernier now than they will in October, January or at the trade deadline of next season with his contract coming up.

As a Favor

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    The Los Angeles Kings organization have had a good track record of taking care of their players.

    Just last offseason Ryan Smyth requested a trade away from the club because he and his family missed Edmonton, according to Helene Elliott of the L.A. Times.

    The Kings obliged and were subsequently raked over the coals in a deal by Oilers GM Steve Tambellini, which included an NHL-negated trade of Gilbert Brule and an injury dispute over fourth-liner Colin Fraser.

    The point is, however, that the Kings obliged the personal needs of their player. They should really do the same with Bernier.

    He has patiently bided his time and played the role of a good solid backup to Jonathan Quick. With Quick signing his massive contract, the time has now come for Bernier to move on. The Kings know it, and he knows it.

    It would be best to do the kid a favor and trade him soon so he can get acclimated to his new home before the season starts and be able to attend training camp with his new team and coaches.

    The Kings, personally, can do themselves a favor and start looking for a backup goalie sooner rather than later.

To Maintain the Locker Room

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    Let's be honest, it's going to be really tense and awkward if Bernier shows up to camp after he announced he doesn't want to be with the team.

    Do you really want this to be a part of training camp? Media hovering around asking questions? Teammates asking questions? 

    Basically the focus at that point will be taken off the game and be put on an aspect outside of the game.

    I don't think any team, coach or player wants that.

    With Bernier traded away sooner rather than later, the Kings can go into September with business as usual. There would be no uncomfortable moments on or off the ice concerning the attitude and commitment of Jonathan Bernier toward the L.A. Kings.

    Bernier has been a solid piece to the Kings team, but it's time to give him his wish and keep everyone's hands from getting dirty.