When the Maple Leafs traded for Jonathan Bernier, they still needed to get the restricted free agent under contract. That happened Friday with Bernier inking a two-year deal worth $5.8 million, according to Renaud Lavoie of RDS.
The Leafs gave up quite a package to the Los Angeles Kings to bring Bernier to Toronto -- forward Matt Frattin, goalie Ben Scrivens and a second-round pick -- despite the fact that James Reimer had a sensational season in net in 2013. Now Bernier will make $1.1 million more than Reimer next season, so read into that what you like.
Awarding Bernier a $2.9 million annual salary on 62 games of NHL action is another puzzler in what has been an expensive day for the Maple Leafs. Toronto also re-signed Tyler Bozak for five years and $21 million, while picking up free agent David Clarkson for $36.75 million over seven years.
Based on what the Leafs gave up and now the money they're giving Bernier, it seems that Toronto feels it has its No. 1 in Bernier.
It's incredibly strange given that Reimer has more of a track record to go off of than Bernier, who has appeared in 42 fewer games than the current Leafs No. 1.
This is where the trade for Bernier continues to make less sense. The Maple Leafs had a dependable, cheaper goaltending tandem with Reimer and Scrivens, with Reimer posting a .924 save percentage in 33 games in 2013.
Bernier very well could be a solid goalie at the NHL level, but until he proves it, the trade and subsequent contract seem like nothing more than redundant and unnecessary spending by Toronto.