Anybody who takes rumours at this time of year at face value is either new to hockey and the internet or still reading Hockeybuzz. I’m neither of those. These Jonathan Bernier to Toronto rumours seem like nonsense, and I don’t want to believe them. I really don’t.

Other bloggers have addressed this already, so I won’t retread the obvious. Jonathan Bernier to the Maple Leafs makes no sense. Why on Earth would the Leafs give up assets for him? James Reimer proved all he could possibly prove this season, and all of the underlying numbers indicate he’s on track for a career as a reliable number one, and a good one at that. Ben Scrivens was solid as a back up, and especially when taking the reigns after Reimer fell to injury. Scrivy made a big contribution to the Leafs‘ eventual playoff berth when he took over the net last February and posted a 6-3 record with two shutouts. Jonathan Bernier, while a promising young goalie in the sense that he was drafted high and hasn’t got his crack at the starter’s role yet, has proven nothing. He’s played like 25 more games than Scrivens.

For the most part, the Bernier rumours strike me as bullshit. The Leafs are just the throw-in for the sake of retweets, page views, and all the reaction that comes with the Leafs being linked to a trade target. We’ve seen this all before.

But I can’t help but think back to the Miikka Kiprusoff rumours at the deadline. At first I wanted to dismiss them as laughable, page-view generating fiction. Then, they pretty much turned out to be true; Dave Nonis did request permission to Kiprusoff, he reportedly expressed an interest in extending his contract to play in Toronto (while widely reported, Nonis did not confirm that part), and Kiprusoff would have been a Leaf if he was willing to uproot his family and come to Toronto as opposed to his chosen path of retirement in Calgary.

I’m not going to blame Dave Nonis for the existence of the rumour mill that surrounds his team. We don’t know how true these Bernier rumours are. I try to rationalize that the idea behind Kiprusoff was the experience angle, given the Leafs were headed toward the playoffs. But I do wonder if we’re hearing the same garbage (if that’s all it is) about the Leafs and Bernier if Nonis doesn’t show an active interest in Mikka Kiprusoff and instead gives Reimer the clear vote of confidence he deserved last trade deadline. More worryingly, I also wonder if these Bernier rumours might have something to them. While Tim Lieweke refreshingly heaped praise on Reimer a few weeks back, we haven’t heard Dave Nonis or someone in the front office call Reimer “the” guy. Maybe this is a symptom of the change in managerial tone away from the ‘Burkian’ outspokenness, and evidence of the more conservative Dave Nonis showing a hesitance toward applying the “anointing oil” to the young goalie.

That could be all it is, and these rumours could be just that – silly old late June rumours involving the Toronto Maple Leafs. Probably, hopefully, that’s all it is. But I can’t say Nonis’ past actions or words have alleviated all of my concerns.

Anyway, just my .02.


A few updates from Dave Nonis today after the GM meetings:




UPDATE: Jonathan Bernier Traded To Leafs

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Alec Brownscombe is the founder and editor of, where he has written daily about the Leafs since September of 2008. He's published five magazines on the team entitled "The Maple Leafs Annual" with distribution in Chapters and newsstands across the country. He also co-hosts "The Battle of the Atlantic," a weekly show on TSN1200 that covers the Leafs and the NHL in-depth. Alec is a graduate of Trent University and Algonquin College with his diploma in Journalism. In 2014, he was awarded Canada's Best Hockey Blogger honours by Molson Canadian. You can contact him at