Monday, 23 July 2012

Where now for Jonathan Bernier?

The Los Angeles Kings look to have made their bed as far as goaltenders are concerned, signing their Stanley Cup-winning goaltender Jonathan Quick to a 10-year deal.

That looks to spell curtains for Jonathan Bernier, even though the 23-year-old backup went 5-6-2 last season with a goals against average of 2.36.

Drafted as the 11th overall pick in the 2006 draft, Bernier, who is still rated by many as one of the NHL picks in his position, has seen very limited game time ever since Quick sealed his position as one of the premier goalies in the NHL.

Bernier is one of the best goalies available this offseason, but with limited playing time he poses a risk for any team that wishes to take a chance on him. But there are sure to be several suitors, and amongst them would be Tampa Bay, Chicago and New Jersey.

The Lightning would be a good place for Bernier as the time is looking for an elite young goaltender to help lead them in the future.

LA would be asking for a lot in exchange for the young goaltender, and perhaps a first-round pick is what the Kings could get in the deal. Bernier certainly has the potential and youth on side to make Tampa Bay a force again in the Eastern Conference.

Chicago also has potential as a landing place for Bernier, especially in a bid to bolster their current incumbent Corey Crawford, who appeared to struggle in the playoffs and was unable to help Chicago get out of the first round.

A Crawford-Bernier tandem would benefit the Blackhawks in the sense that they would have two gifted young goaltenders on the same team.

New Jersey have two goalies already on their roster having just re-signed Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg, but both of those are in twilight of their careers and now is the time for the Devils to sign a new goal tender.

Although Bernier requested to be traded for the sake of becoming a starter right away, it wouldn't be long until he would start for New Jersey.

Granted, he would be filling the shoes of Martin Brodeur, but he is still young enough and being able to watch Brodeur for the next two seasons would only benefit him.

NHL betting tips suggest that he will be on the move and one of this triumvirate are a likely new home for Jonathan Bernier.

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