Jonathan Bernier is heading back to California after the Toronto Maple Leafs traded the goalie to the Anaheim Ducks.
In return, the Maple Leafs get a conditional 2017 draft pick, but in a sense it's a completion of the June 20th trade between the two teams that sent goalie Frederik Andersen to the Maple Leafs. It seems in all likelihood Bernier would have been included in that original deal, except he was owed a $2-million bonus on July 1. The Maple Leafs could afford to pay the bonus then complete the goalie swap on Friday.
The deal ends Bernier's unremarkable career in Toronto after three seasons. He was acquired in a 2013 trade with the Los Angeles Kings and never lived up to high expectations placed on him by the Leafs former front-office group.
He appeared in 151 games with the Maple Leafs, going 59-68-17 with a 2.80 goals-against average and .915 save percentage, and obviously, no playoff appearances. In 2015-16, Bernier began the season 0-8-1 and was sent to the AHL for 10 days in December.
Bernier will be re-united with coach Randy Carlyle in Anaheim, and very likely serve as John Gibson's backup. Bernier has one year left on his contract at $4.15 million
Speaking of backups, the Maple Leafs need one of their own now. Andersen will be the unquestioned No. 1 goalie, as evidenced by the five-year, $25 million extension he signed as soon as he arrived in Toronto, but the Leafs will want some insurance as they edge toward attempting to be competitive.
That apparently means the backup job won't go to one of the young goalies in the system. Garret Sparks, 23, got a taste with the Leafs last year, appearing in 17 games, but aside from a shutout in his NHL debut, was not very good. With nobody else ready to step in, GM Lou Lamoriello said they will look to bring in a backup. If the Maple Leafs don't acquire a goalie in another trade, the free agent pickings look like this:
Jhonas Enroth: The 28 year old is an unrestricted free agent after playing 16 games for the Kings last year. He has been a career with backup with the Kings, Stars, and Sabres. He earned $1.25 million this past season.
Ray Emery: He's getting a little long in the tooth at 33 and didn't play in the NHL last year. But he has some familiarity with the Leafs organization thanks to a brief stint with the AHL Marlies last year. He played 31 games for the Flyers in 2014-15.
Karri Ramo: More experienced and accomplished than Enroth, he played in 37 games for the Calgary Flames in 2015-16. He went 17-18-1 with a .909 SP and 2.63 GAA. He earned $3.8 million and could be had for much less than that.
Anders Lindback: The 6-foot6 Swede has bounced around the NHL since breaking in with the Predators in 2010-11. Since then he's played for the Lightning, Sabres, Stars, and Coyotes. He has a career 2.87 GAA and .904 SP.
Joni Ortio: Another former Flames goalie, Ortio is only 25 and has some upside, but little experience. He has played in just 37 career NHL games.
Ben Scrivens: The Leafs could come full circle by signing Scrivens, who they traded to the Kings for Bernier. He played 15 games for the Canadiens this past season after Carey Price was injured.
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