The Maple Leafs announced on Sunday that they have acquired Bernier from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for forward Matt Frattin, goalie Ben Scrivens and a second-round draft pick in either 2014 or 2015.
Bernier, backup to Jonathan Quick, is eligible for restricted free agency this summer. The Maple Leafs will need to work out a contract with him.
Toronto was one of the teams said to be in the running for Bernier and ultimately completed the deal on Sunday.
The question now becomes, why?
For the first time in seven years, the Maple Leafs seemed to finally find a solution in net that was going to work for them with James Reimer and Scrivens. They collectively were perhaps the biggest reason why Toronto ended its seven-season playoff drought this year. Reimer finished the season with a .924 save percentage and has finished with a figure higher than .920 in two of his first three seasons in the NHL.
It's hard to imagine Toronto would give up that sort of package to have Bernier come in and sit on the bench for the majority of the season. And it's not yet known if he will be any sort of an upgrade over Reimer.
He has played well during his limited time in the NHL with the Kings, but it's still a small sample size and his production hasn't been any better than Reimer's.
"I went through some ups and downs in L.A., but they treated me very well and I'm thankful for that," Bernier said. "This is a new challenge and I'm going to show people what I can do. At the same time I'll be with a great goalie in Reimer, so it's not going to be easy. I just have to do what I know I can do and hopefully have success."
Scrivens has one year remaining on his contract and will be an unrestricted free agent next summer. He compiled a 2.69 goals against average and a .91 save percentage in 20 appearances during the regular season.
Frattin, 25, scored seven goals to go with six assists in 25 games.