The Los Angeles Kings are coming off a remarkable run to the only Stanley Cup championship in their history.
The Kings got clutch goals and opportunistic play from Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown and Mike Richards, but perhaps the biggest factor was the brilliant play of Jonathan Quick. In addition to making consistent clutch saves, Quick walked away with the Conn Smythe trophy and earned himself a new contract in the process.
But while the Kings have one of the best No. 1 goaltenders in the league, they also have a solid backup goalie in Jonathan Bernier. However, Bernier does not want to be the No. 2 goalie.
He was selected by the Kings with the 11th pick in the 2006 draft and he wants to be a starter.
He has played 48 games for the Kings in four seasons and has a 20-17-5 record with a 2.50 goals against average and .910 save percentage with five shutouts.
He has been fairly solid in the opportunities that he has had, but he has not established himself. He would like to be traded so he can get the chance to show what he can do when asked to play more regularly (source: RantSports.com).
The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking at Bernier, according to Doug McIntyre of ESPN.com, as reported by MyNHLTradeRumors.com. This would appear to be a no-brainer since the Leafs' goaltending has been so inconsistent.
The Chicago Blackhawks have received slightly above-average goaltending from Corey Crawford since he took over for Antti Niemi after the 2010 championship run. That may not be good enough to get back to the highest level. Bringing in Bernier would give the Blackhawks another option in goal (source: YardBarker.com).
The Tampa Bay Lightning fell from grace last season after their goaltending let them down. Steve Yzerman has brought in goaltending prospect Anders Lindback from Nashville to take over and he appears to be a talented athlete with the tools to do well. However, he's not proven at this point and bringing in Bernier might give Tampa Bay a solid 1-2 punch in goal, according to RantSports.com.
The Columbus Blue Jackets still appear to have interest in Bernier, and it might cost them a 2013 first-round draft pick, according to Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch. The Kings may also want a player who can contribute to the lineup, but the Blue Jackets don't have much to offer besides goalie Steve Mason.