Jonathan Bernier, the backup net minder and highly-touted prospect of the Los Angeles Kings, is still considered one of the best goaltending prospects in the NHL. The problem is that the Kings already have their starting goalie in Jonathan Quick. With no room to succeed in L.A., Bernier will likely have to find a home elsewhere if he wants to be a starter in this league.
That shouldn’t be difficult for Bernier, as many teams seek starting goalies every year. Bernier is a former first-round pick (11th overall) in 2006. At 24 years old, he has started in 42 career games, posting a career record of 20-17-5. Bernier’s career save percentage is .910 and he has a goals against average of 2.50.
With Bernier growing older, the time is coming for the Kings to make a decision. With Quick being their guy in net, there should be no reason for them not to trade their No. 2 netminder. There are teams out there willing to trade pieces for a goalie with potential, and although the price for Bernier will be steep, it's unlikely anyone will walk away from the opportunity.
The Edmonton Oilers are in desperate need of a goalie, and Devan Dubnyk is unlikely to be the solution. With no elite goalie prospect in their system, an attempt at Bernier might not be a bad idea.
Corey Crawford is not getting the job done as a starter in this league. The Blackhawks don't have anybody in their system ready to come out anytime soon, and they would likely be able to put together a package viable to the Kings’ needs. I'm sure they'll be interested in Bernier if he ever gets officially put on the block.
Two goalies, two problems. Neither Sergei Bobrovsky or Steve Mason are starters in this league. And if they are, they’re the worst combination in the NHL. Instead of trading for a career backup in Bobrovsky, the Blue Jackets should have put together a package to get someone with real potential in Bernier. Even though they might not look for Bernier anymore, they could certainly “use” him.
The Maple Leafs have been in need of a goalie for a while now, and James Reimer is not the answer. If the Leafs want to build a successful team and make the playoffs consistently, they’re going to need a quality goaltender that can lead their franchise in the years to come. Bernier is a better answer than Reimer.
Martin Brodeur hasn’t been Martin Broduer in years and he’ll never be what he once was again. The Devils went and re-signed him in the offseason, probably because they would have felt bad otherwise. The more likely reason, however, is because they have no one to replace him with.
The day may not have arrived yet, but sooner or later, the Brodeur era is going to end. Bernier would easily fill the void of needing a replacement.