Bernier the Boats

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The Jonathan Bernier to Toronto speculation was ongoing all week, so it wasn’t a complete surprise when the Leafs acquired him yesterday. What was surprising, considering teams that are in much worse shape in net like the Flyers and Islanders were in on the bidding, is that one of those teams didn’t offer big value for a goalie so many are apparently high on.

Ultimately, it seems the Leafs were able to offer a package that matched up well with the Kings’ needs. The Leafs gave Los Angeles a good backup goalie and top nine forward who combine to cost them a million bucks (since the Leafs are retaining salary), along with a second round pick. That’s solid value for a guy who requested a trade on a team that’s tight against the cap.

Conversely, the Leafs assumed more risk in this deal but are receiving more potential in return. Dave Nonis basically admitted as much in his press conference, saying “we felt the gamble was worth taking with the upside that we think that Jonathan has.”

From Toronto’s point of view, they are getting an asset they think has legitimate franchise goalie upside for below market value considering LA’s circumstances and Bernier’s trade request. Even though the Leafs already have a goalie that was lights out last season and basically carried them to the playoffs, Nonis still pulled the trigger on this deal. I wrote last week that I’m betting the Leafs are more concerned about Reimer’s ability to stay healthy than his actual talents, but what they traded away isn’t a package you put together to merely bring in a backup goalie.

For comparisons sake, here is what other teams paid to acquire a young goalie in the past few years:

  • Tampa acquired 24-year-old Anders Lindback, Kyle Wilson and a 7th for Sebastien Garon, two second round picks and a third. They also traded Cory Conacher for Ben Bishop afterward.
  • Colorado acquired 23-year-old Semyon Varlamov for the 11th overall pick and a conditional second round pick.
  • St. Louis acquired 25-year-old Jaroslav Halak for first round prospect Lars Eller and third round prospect Ian Schultz.

None of those goalies have panned out spectacularly for their teams, but like the Leafs, none of them really gave up anything substantial, either.

If Bernier does pan out, you have to wonder what this means for Reimer.

When Randy Carlyle was head coach of the Ducks, the most starts a goalie ever received under him was Jonas Hiller’s 58 starts in 2009-10. The season before that, Giguere started 44 games and Hiller started 38, so he’s no stranger to platooning his goalies and balancing out starts.

Reimer admitted to the Sun that “Overall, I felt I played well this past season. I feel like I’ve established myself as a No. 1 goalie in this league.” And that after seeing the trade it made him, “feel a bit doubted as a goalie.”

Barring the Leafs signing Bernier –who is an RFA—to an unexpected long-term extension, we have to assume that Bernier and Reimer are in an open competition for the net, but when a GM brings in “his guys” history tells us that his guy usually wins when push comes to shove.

The bottom line is that the Leafs already had a guy who looked well on his way to being a legitimate number one goalie in the NHL in James Reimer, and for whatever reason, they still question him.  Now, they’ve brought in competition and doubled their odds that one of Bernier or Reimer will emerge into the role of a true franchise goalie.

Reimer does have more experience having played over 40 more games Bernier, but neither goalie has been a full-time starter over an 82-game season. If you combine Reimer’s career high in games in a season in the NHL (37) and Bernier’s (25), it doesn’t even come close to equalling a full regular season.  Whether you think Reimer or Bernier is the real deal, the truth is that neither has proven it yet over a full campaign.

The Leafs have hedged their bets that one of the two goalies, who have played together before with Team Canada, will finally emerge in net. This is a team which a little over a year ago was forced to dress Jonas Gustavsson and Jussi Rynnas in the same game, and now their “issue” is that they have two goalies who both have strong track records to suggest they can both be true number one goalies in the NHL.

The trade also saw the Leafs lose a solid top nine forward in Matt Frattin. As things stand right now, the Leafs are slated to lose Bozak and MacArthur on top of already losing Frattin and Komarov from last season’s group. There are only seven forwards under contract right now for next season and they are Kessel, JVR, Lupul, Grabovski, Kulemin, McClement and Orr. Even if their remaining three RFAs (Colborne, Kadri and McLaren) are resigned, they’ll still have four holes to fill on forward.

It’s a deal that has left us with more questions than answers, but we do know the Leafs have upgraded in net with Bernier and the hope is that it pushes Reimer to be even better, too. Good goaltending pushed the Leafs into the playoffs this season, and they just got better in net in the overall sense. There are still massive holes to fill at center and defense, but if Bernier pans out in net for the Leafs and forms a strong tandem with Reimer, the Leafs didn’t give up much to do it and it’s going to help them throughout long 82-game seasons.

One thing we can all agree on is that this trade will have something great come out of it if it keeps Ilya Bryzgalov in Philadelphia.

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Anthony Petrielli has been at MLHS since 2011. He is known for his weekly "Leafs Notebook" feature, and also writes specific analysis pieces. You can contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @APetrielli.
  • Ensign

    So I’m guessing people overall think we lost this trade

    • lister

      Ensign How so? Scrivens was free and is a wash anyways goalie for goalie. So it’s really Frattin and a second rounder. I’d say that’s fair value. Frattin isn’t exactly proven much like Bernier though I think Bernier has more potential to be an impact high ceiling kind of player. Nothing wrong with some competition. If Bernier works out then Reimer can be traded for some other need and a veteran goalie can be brought in.

      • Ensign

        You don’t have to sell me on bernier. I didn’t say I I thought we lost it

        • lister

          Ensign It wasn’t really directed at you. I haven’t been able to read any of the yammerings about the trade yet. Since you mentioned that people think we lost the trade, I was curious what’s being said to support that.

        • Ensign

          Fair enough. I do raise my eyebrow at the potential cap hit…we may need that cap for more pressing needs. But that being said I love our goalie pairing now

        • Mind Bomb

          Ensign  Yep its the contract that worries me, You dont  make this trade, with Bernier coming up an unsigned RFA, unless you have a good idea you can sign him, and I doubt that happens at a Bargain

        • Mind Bomb

          Ensign  Yep its the contract that worries me, You dont  make this trade, with Bernier coming up an unsigned RFA, unless you have a good idea you can sign him, and I doubt that happens at a Bargain

        • Ensign

          It may not be as costly as we think. He wants to play and RC has a good record of balancing goalies.

        • Bobsyouruncle

          Mind Bomb Ensign I’d like to think that L.A. allowed Nonis to talk to Bernier’s agent first, but maybe not. At least Bernier doesn’t sound like he’s about to play hardball and risk getting traded to somewhere he may not like as much.

        • mcloki

          Bobsyouruncle Mind Bomb Ensign I read somewhere that the agent wants to talk to Nonnis this week. I say it gets settled very soon. Especially when we know which UFA’s aren’t coming back and which RFA’s are just going to get qualifying deals.

        • Mind Bomb

          Bobsyouruncle Mind Bomb Ensign  So would I Bob, but how many teams might like to screw it to the Leafs, with an insigned elitel prospect RFA :)

          lol

        • LN-093

          Bobsyouruncle Mind Bomb Ensign Bernier’s interview yesterday was very encouraging.  It sounded like he had a good attitude about everything.

        • Bobsyouruncle

          Mind Bomb Bobsyouruncle Ensign lol  Love having “elite” prospects!!!

        • Bobsyouruncle

          Mind Bomb Bobsyouruncle Ensign lol  Love having “elite” prospects!!!

        • Mind Bomb

          Bobsyouruncle Mind Bomb Ensign  I am diggin it as well lol

        • Mind Bomb

          Bobsyouruncle Mind Bomb Ensign  I am diggin it as well lol

    • Ensign

      Here’s hoping he does!

    • Uncle Otis

      Ensign 
      Hey Bison Buddy…funny how it’s a goalie trade that brings you out of self imposed exile haha
      Must be smiling today.

      • Mind Bomb

        Uncle Otis Ensign  Bison Buddy lol you have a way with words sometimes O :)

      • Ensign

        Haha I was here last week. I am pretty happy though

    • mcloki

      LN-093 Ensign We totally won this trade. Frats is replaceable.

      • LN-093

        mcloki LN-093 Ensign Ya, Frats is decent but will never be a top 6 imho.

  • twitting_sg

    Yesterday, reading the “sky is falling” tweets on twitter made me very nervous about this deal. this sorta calms me down. So a question – do you work for Leafs PR? :)
    secondly, i heard (again on twitter) that Phaneuf is in play? or he could be made available. is that true? that’s just retarded.

    • sniperstar

      twitting_sg It’d be retarded if he wasn’t available. I love Phaneuf but every player has their price. To say one is untouchable is a lie.

      • lister

        sniperstar twitting_sg It would be retarded if Phaneuf was traded for a bag of pucks. If there’s a trade that makes the team stronger especially combined with another trade or free agent signing, what’s the problem?
        I thought we all understood that if Gretzky could be traded there are no untouchables?

        • Mind Bomb

          LN-093 lister sniperstar twitting_sg  Adater has been drinking !!!

        • http://stores.ebay.ca/UncleJakesCards?_rdc=1 unclejakescards

          Mind Bomb LN-093 lister sniperstar twitting_sg pffff, if they lookin at moving phaneuf they had better have a deal in place for weber !!!!

        • http://stores.ebay.ca/UncleJakesCards?_rdc=1 unclejakescards

          Mind Bomb LN-093 lister sniperstar twitting_sg pffff, if they lookin at moving phaneuf they had better have a deal in place for weber !!!!

        • Mind Bomb

          unclejakescards Mind Bomb LN-093 lister sniperstar twitting_sg  Maybe they have one lined up for Letang :)

  • http://stores.ebay.ca/UncleJakesCards?_rdc=1 unclejakescards

    i find it funny how so many people praise the leafs scouting staff  , and believe they are some of the best in the league , but still dislike this trade ….. i trust them , and believe they made a great deal for bernier . 
    especially considering the leafs goalie depth 2-3 years ago compared to now .
    wether you like it or agree with it or not , it was still expendable parts for an asset that has potential to be a vezina candidate …….

  • Mind Bomb

    Hi Anthony, Do you think he knows he has Clarkson ? He cant seriously be thinking to fill 4 holes with marliea after this team competed so hard to make  and do well in the playoffs. 
    JVR-Kadri-KEs
    Lups-Grabo-Kulie
    D’amigo   Colburne-  Carter
    MClaren-MCL-Orr

    Seriously, he had better have an astounding plan !!

    • LN-093

      Mind Bomb Is it a coincidence Frattin and Clarkson are both right wingers?  Perhaps Frattin became expendable.

    • Mind Bomb

      LN-093 Mind Bomb  We will see,.  Its nice graduating all these marlies, but I want to win, not watch more rookie mistakes in the NHL lol

    • Anthony Petrielli

      Mind Bomb All I can say is that I think the Leafs will be in on Clarkson.

      • Mind Bomb

        Anthony Petrielli Mind Bomb  Or Bickel I guess or Both

        3rd line Clarkson-Kadri-Bickle

        • Anthony Petrielli

          Mind Bomb Anthony Petrielli I bet Bickell has priced himself off of a lot teams wish lists.

  • Mind Bomb

    LN-093  MOrning LN

    • LN-093

      Mind Bomb LN-093 So, we’re in for a wild one apparently!  Even Phaneuf’s name is being thrown out there.

  • Greg Fenton

    Nothing wrong with having Bernier and Reimer for a short period of time to see if one goalie/which one “steps up” and takes the starters job. But be prepared, as soon as both play well back-to-back, we’ll have a goal tending controversy……
    And remember we may not have both of them playing together here. Nonis may shop or trade Reimer to address another weakness/need the team has while finding a more experienced back-up to play behind Bernier.

  • Uncle Otis

    Je-zuz…go away for a weekend and all hell breaks loose! lol
    I think your guess is as good as any Anthony…ie: the Leafs being unsure of Reim’s durability.
    Therefore,and I haven’t seen anyone say this yet,it may have more to do with them not feeling Scrivens has the goods to be a starter for an extended time period if James goes down
    Bottom line;
    Goaltending,like pitching in baseball,is the most important position on the team.
    Unlike Bball, a goalie doesn’t play once every 5 games
    Neither of those guys are going to be superstars IMO,so the risk is minimal while getting a potential franchise goalie.
    The only wild card is Bernier’s contract demands.If we step up and pay him long term its higher risk,so one could argue it was more financially prudent to stay status quo.
    Curious going forward to see how two guys that see themselves as #1’s fit together.

    • Greg Fenton

      Uncle Otis Its most likely not a long term situation. If the Leafs keep both goalies, which everyone proves himself during the next 1-2 years will be kept and the other will be moved/move on.

      • Uncle Otis

        Greg Fenton 
        Heard other predicting 2-3 years
        No way in sam hell either of these two are that patient.

    • Greg Fenton

      Uncle Otis Its most likely not a long term situation. If the Leafs keep both goalies, which everyone proves himself during the next 1-2 years will be kept and the other will be moved/move on.

    • Mind Bomb

      Uncle Otis  Morning O, thats just it though, Nonis and CO, do think Bernier can steal games and Be a superstar, thats the gamble they took in this deal, they did not trade for Compitent.

      • Uncle Otis

        Mind Bomb 
        Morning MB
        Did you hoover Scugog of all it’s fish? lol
        Yes to competent not being enough,and Scrivens was just that IMO.
        Tim L HAD to have imput,likely reaffirming Nonis’ beliefs.
        Looks like NoNo is just getting warmed up too

        • KingTon

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Apparently this trade was in talks back at the beginning of the season according to a TSN article.

        • KingTon

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Apparently this trade was in talks back at the beginning of the season according to a TSN article.

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb  Hey O we did ok on the Bass, some 3/4 pounders, fun fight. We got skunked on the muskee, Still we managed to catch a ton of Brown bottles :)

        • Mind Bomb

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb  Hey O we did ok on the Bass, some 3/4 pounders, fun fight. We got skunked on the muskee, Still we managed to catch a ton of Brown bottles :)

        • Doorman

          Mind Bomb Uncle Otis If You want to catch Muskee;  You got to use the neighbours cat!!!

        • Mind Bomb

          Doorman Mind Bomb Uncle Otis  Hhahahha

        • Mind Bomb

          Doorman Mind Bomb Uncle Otis  Hhahahha

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb 
          My kinda trollin’!
          Bass are good eating at that size…just need a sharp knife.
          And brownies are my fav catch too.:)

  • Burtonboy

    https://twitter.com/SunGarriochA league executive on trade talk heating up; “There is a lot happening right now. Could be an active week.” Lots of teams need to cut salary

    • Great Dane

      Burtonboy Nonis I believe that lined up his chips for some trading this week.  Draft day will bring a major trade for the Leafs

    • Great Dane

      Burtonboy Nonis I believe that lined up his chips for some trading this week.  Draft day will bring a major trade for the Leafs

  • Faalcon

    Good trade for Nonis. One has to take chances and Reimer by himself although good is not enough. I hope Bernier pans out for us. Nothing ventured nothing gained. Now Nonis go forward and get us a center and another D man, and we will be good to go.

  • Ensign

    I’ve been out of the loop for awhile. Where are we with figuring out our number one C

    • mcloki

      Ensign hey stranger where ya been. We miss you, you know.

      • Ensign

        New job means no access outside of my iPhone which is annoying

        • Doorman

          Ensign Now you have a real Job!!!  lol

        • Uncle Otis

          Doorman 
          DOORMAN!!…how the hell are ya?
          Seems we are never around at the same time lately…hope you are steering clear of Calgary on your routes.
          To hell with kitties for Muskie…bring some groundhogs.
          They grow ’em big up at the Pointe.
          Swallow ya whole !!

        • Doorman

          Uncle Otis Doorman It,s always nice to take the neighbours cat fishing!!!  Lol
          Flying in on the ninth of Aug. Lets get the dates down!  I want my $25  lol

        • Uncle Otis

          Doorman 
          9th now?…was thinking you said @ Aug1
          Damn,will have to check calendar as that’s family holidays and wife was thinking road trip out East…how long u there for?
          And the way NoNo is all wound up,that $25 doesn’t look so safe anymore haha
          Don’t spend it just yet!

        • Doorman

          Uncle Otis Doorman Till the 30th!

        • Uncle Otis

          Doorman 
          We’re laughing then…will have to exchange contacts etc as the date approaches.
          Tried to post a pic of the Muskie some dude nailed last year up there,but the new system seems incapable.
          Facking thing had to be 50-60 lbs!

        • Uncle Otis

          Doorman 
          We’re laughing then…will have to exchange contacts etc as the date approaches.
          Tried to post a pic of the Muskie some dude nailed last year up there,but the new system seems incapable.
          Facking thing had to be 50-60 lbs!

        • Mind Bomb

          Doorman Uncle Otis What Area ?

        • Doorman

          Mind Bomb Doorman Uncle Otis see e-mail  North of parry sound!

        • Uncle Otis

          Mind Bomb Doorman 
          You in MB? Could be fun :)

        • Doorman

          Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Doorman I will delete the e add in five minutes!  lol

        • Bobsyouruncle

          Doorman Uncle Otis Mind Bomb Too late, I’ve already alerted the NSA.

        • Doorman

          Bobsyouruncle Doorman Uncle Otis Mind Bomb I was waiting for you!!!  lol  The short bus dropped you off early today!!!  LOL

        • Uncle Otis

          Doorman @Mind Bomb
          Sorry,in/out here this AM…will send that email now

        • Doorman

          Uncle Otis Doorman 10/4

        • Uncle Otis

          Doorman 
          Except your emails gone…how did u do that?
          #magic

    • Mind Bomb

      Ensign  We are no where close that we  know of for a 1C other than Kadri :)

      • mcloki

        Mind Bomb Ensign I think we need to wait till compliance buyouts and draft day. That may shake up some stuff.

        • Ensign

          Like who? Can’t see a legit number one C being bought out

      • Ensign

        That’s what I thought. No rumours?

        • mcloki

          Ensign Stasny was one of the fallouts that could be shaken loose. It’s more a feature of people trying to stay under the cap

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          mcloki Ensign These Dion for Stastny rumours are hilarious.

        • mcloki

          ingy56 mcloki Ensign Was it a Dion for Stazny rumour. I thought Dion was going to Edmonton for gagner.  It’s silly season. so hard to keep track of all thee rumours.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          mcloki ingy56 Ensign Saw a couple of tweets this morning referring to it…I just assumed it was out there. Haven’t checked the usual scandal sheets.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          LN-093 ingy56 mcloki Ensign Yeah that’s it , Dion for Stastny came for Adater….usually a decent source.

        • mcloki

          ingy56 LN-093 mcloki Ensign That’s a bit weak coming back to Toronto.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          mcloki ingy56 LN-093 Ensign Thrown Duchene’s name and there and maybe we’re talking.

        • http://i.imgur.com/MyKj5C3.gif ingy56

          mcloki ingy56 LN-093 Ensign Thrown Duchene’s name and there and maybe we’re talking.

        • LN-093

          ingy56 LN-093 mcloki Ensign Hey, I think we should keep Dion.  Don’t shoot the messenger!!

      • LN-093

        Mind Bomb Ensign Unless it’s Joe Thornton or Mike Richards I say we go with Kadri and Bozak.  Get rid of Grabo’s contract and get a 1B defender.

      • Mind Bomb

        LN-093 Mind Bomb Ensign I would Keep Grabo, I like him, he just had an off year, He brings some crazy to this team lol

      • mcloki

        Mind Bomb LN-093 Ensign We got MacLaren for that.

      • mcloki

        Mind Bomb LN-093 Ensign We got MacLaren for that.

      • Mind Bomb

        mcloki Mind Bomb LN-093 Ensign True, I guess, just have a soft spot for the little weeble, He keeps coming Back and he is skillled