Los Angeles Kings: 4 Teams That Could Use Jonathan Bernier
It’s a good problem to have if you are the Los Angeles Kings.
You have one of the best young goaltenders in the league in Jonathan Quick and right behind him you have another young goaltender just waiting to break out.
Jonathan Bernier, a former first-round pick (11th overall), is currently playing backup to Quick and has done so for too long.
The Kings have two quality goalies and while they would love to keep them both on the roster long-term, that will not be possible.
The Kings will not want to lose either of these goalies for nothing, which means one of them will need to get traded.
And it won’t be Jonathan Quick.
He has proven over and over he is a starting goalie in this league. He has stolen games for the Kings this year and has already accumulated four shutouts.
Bernier’s trade value is lower than Quick’s, but he is a piece LA can live without.
Let’s look at four teams that could use Bernier.
New York Islanders
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Even though they employ three goaltenders, the Islanders’ goaltending situation is a mess.
Al Montoya is their starter for now, but they also have Evgeni Nabokov and Rick DiPietro on the depth chart.
Montoya has played well for New York, but it remains to be seen whether he can keep it up or not.
If the Isles are in the market for a goaltender they can rely on long-term, they may be searching for someone with more of a track record than Bernier.
The problem is no one is willing to give up those kind of goalies.
Bernier has not been spectacular in his short time with the Kings, but he has played well and could provide solid goaltending for the future of the Islanders.
Tampa Bay Lightning
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It may be time for Dwayne Roloson to consider retirement, as his play has dropped off considerably this season. It is one of the reasons the Tampa Bay Lightning have struggled this year.
The 42-year-old had an impressive playoff run last year as he led the Lightning to within one game of the Stanley Cup final.
Mathieu Garon is a quality backup goaltender in this league, but that’s all he is.
Tampa Bay is in need of a starting goalie next season. It would be trading for potential over performance, but the former World Junior Gold Medal Champion is worth the risk.
New Jersey Devils
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Bernier would have mighty shoes to fill if he is given a chance to suit up as Martin Brodeur’s replacement in New Jersey.
The future Hall of Fame goaltender is starting to wear down and the rumors are flying around that this would be his last season in the NHL.
Backup Johan Hedberg is also getting up in years. He will not be around much longer.
Jeff Frazee is waiting in the minors, but he may not be ready yet. Bernier’s ceiling is higher than his anyway and he would be ready to step in right away.
Columbus Blue Jackets
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Steve Mason and Curtis Sanford is not a winning combination in net.
Columbus’ goaltending has been horrendous this season—a big reason for the poor start they have had.
Now, Sanford has provided some solid play for the Blue Jackets, but he is definitely not a long-term solution for the club.
Steve Mason needs a fresh start somewhere (not in Los Angeles, mind you) because it is clear his career is going nowhere in Columbus.
GM Scott Howden has been adamant he is not giving up on Steve Mason, but if he changes his mind, he could try his luck on another World Junior star to replace his old one.