|Bernier went 5-6-1 with a 2.36 GAA, .909 save percentage this season. (Getty Images)|
Now that Jonathan Quick has himself a shiny new 10-year contract, the Los Angeles Kings have to move on to their backup goaltender situation. Because the guy who has been behind Quick the past few years, restricted free agent Jonathan Bernier, wants out.
#LAKINGS told Bernier they would look to move him once a contract with Quick was finalized— Andy Strickland (@andystrickland) June 28, 2012
This shouldn't come as a surprise. Bernier has somewhat quietly been one of the goalies at least rumored to be a trade target. He is a goalie with his own promising future but is stuck behind a young goalie who is arguably the best in the sport today.
Now that we know for sure Quick is going to be around for a lot longer, Bernier moving to a new team makes sense and you can understand why he would want it. Despite the fact that the Kings just won the Stanley Cup and most players want to play for a champion, most players, especially a young player, would actually prefer to play.
Considering the free-agent goalie class and some of the trade targets like Roberto Luongo and his massive contract, Bernier could be appealing to a few teams, ones looking for help in either the No. 1 or No. 2 spot. Hence the possibilities that Strickland mentions.
But not everybody agrees that the writing is on the wall for Bernier's exit out of L.A, at least immediately. This from Lisa Dillman of the L.A. Times:
Again, this does not mean a trade invovling Jonathan Bernier is in the works. Tend to think otherwise.— lisa dillman (@reallisa) June 28, 2012
Market for Bernier can only get better down the road. Not super right now. Why move him now? Kings are in no rush.— lisa dillman (@reallisa) June 28, 2012
It will be interesting to see if the Kings are players in free agency for another goalie or not. Obviously that would signal Bernier's excit if he hasn't been traded before then, which Dillman doesn't seem to think is going to happen.
At some point, though, Bernier seems to be a better fit somewhere not called Los Angeles.