Jonathan Bernier on the Maple Leafs makes no sense

Cam Charron
June 18 2013 10:22AM

Odd tweet sent out here from Nick Kypreos:

I don't think that Jonathan Bernier is a bad goaltender. It may even be reasonable to suggest that Bernier would have success as James Reimer's backup. The Leafs will need a guy who can give the team 30 starts, but at this point in Bernier's career he wants to be a starting goaltender. As a restricted free agent, he's going to be looking for a contract worth more than that of a backup because there is going to be some team who sees "former first round pick" and pays for potential.

As for the Leafs? They have their young guy, and their Goalie Of The Future™. James Reimer is the same age as Bernier and has more experience than Bernier. Full stop.

A chart:

  Age (on Sep 15 2013) Career Starts Playoff Starts Career Shots Faced Career Save %
James Reimer 25 100 7 3103 0.915
Jonathan Bernier 25 54 0 1553 0.912

It's not too much to assume that the Leafs could use an upgrade at the backup position, but about the only time in Reimer's career that he hasn't displayed the ability to be a starter is the year he should have been on the shelf because he was nursing a concussion. In 2011, Reimer came up to the big leagues and nearly turned the Leafs into a playoff team. In 2013, the Leafs became the most-outshot team since the 2002 Montreal Canadiens to make the playoffs. If you'll recall, Jose Theodore won the Vezina and Hart Trophy double that season.

But other than the one fifth-place Hart Trophy vote from friend of The Leafs Nation Jesse Spector...

James Reimer was responsible for ending an even longer playoff drought, helping the Toronto Maple Leafs avoid early golf for the first time since 2004 by singlehandedly defying math. The most heavily outshot team in the NHL is in the playoffs because of a goaltender whom the organization was desperate to replace. Reimer’s .920 save percentage on the penalty kill was equal to Vezina contender Carey Price’s at even strength.

...Reimer didn't land anything close to the accolades earned by Jose Theodore. He was entirely left off of the Vezina Trophy ballot, and still has doubters in the media. Could the Leafs use a veteran backup? Yes. Does Bernier make any sense? No, because if the above chart shows anything, it's that there's no argument you can make that would suggest Bernier is more deserving of an NHL starting job than James Reimer.

Talks of Roberto Luongo to the Leafs have disappeared entirely. There's no longer a rush to upgrade at the goaltending position. Reimer took the reins last year and showed that he's a more than capable starting goaltender, and one that is fully-deserving of at least 50 starts next season.

Related:

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Cam Charron is a BC hockey fan that writes about hockey on many different websites including this one.
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#1 caper7
June 18 2013, 10:35AM
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Kipper makes no sense...Leafs don't need a starter...maybe an experienced backup but certainly not anyone to be the starter, Reimer deserves a shot at number 1!!

No sense wasting cap or picks in a trade for another goalie.

Leafs need a legit number 1 center and a quality shut down D man. After that they need 3rd and 4th line players. Right now a goalie is the last thing they need.

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#2 Miker
June 18 2013, 11:11AM
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Yeah I don't see how a goalie is anywhere near the Leafs #1 priority. Scrivens was serviceable last year, and they'd have to put him through waivers to get him into the AHL.

If this management group still thinks they need a starting goalie (and if they think Bernier is a better shot at it than Reimer), well, I wouldn't be surprised, but I'd sure be disappointed.

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#3 whichonespink
June 18 2013, 11:22AM
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Maybe Bernier is a better goalie. We just don't know, the numbers don't suggest that. It must be because of him being a 1st round pick. I would not be surprised either, but it would set us back, depending on what we sent over to get him. Sounds like he wants a Schneider type contract , forget that, we should spend that money one Kenny the page.

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#4 whichonespink
June 18 2013, 11:22AM
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Maybe Bernier is a better goalie. We just don't know, the numbers don't suggest that. It must be because of him being a 1st round pick. I would not be surprised either, but it would set us back, depending on what we sent over to get him. Sounds like he wants a Schneider type contract , forget that, we should spend that money one Kenneth the page.

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#5 XiC
June 18 2013, 04:26PM
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Just keep Reimer and Scrivens. Cheap and effective at their jobs.

An upgrade on Scrivens may help but the way I see it his contract makes him incredibly efficient and provides plenty of value to TML.

Getting a better backup that costs 3x-5x what he costs is only going to amount to perhaps 2-3 more wins.

Just not worth it.

Instead of burning assets and cap space on a position that the Leafs are good at, maybe use that to get a better Dman.

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#6 CdnRawkee
June 18 2013, 07:26PM
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The Leafs do need a #1 goalie. Reimer should be the back up goalie.The Leafs would have beat Boston if they had a number one goalie.

Reimer's glove hand is very poor,too many pucks go in and out of his glove.He also gives up way too many rebounds.He keeps the puck in play for the opposing team way too much.

It seems everybody loves Reimer and always gives him a free pass. He is a nice guy and works his butt off, but he will never be a #1 goalie in my opinion. So yes the Leafs do need a #1 goalie.

By the way, how about getting rid of Dion and getting a real Captain !

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#7 Miker
June 19 2013, 09:10AM
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@CdnRawkee

I shouldn't bother--I can't even tell if this is supposed to be satire--but Reimer's career SV% right now is equal to Ryan Miller, Carey Price, Jonathan Quick and Craig Anderson. It's higher than Lehtonen, Brodeur, Bryzgalov, Smith, Varlamov, MAF, Ward, Elliot, Neuvrith and Pavelec.

So that means that there are 9 or 10 "#1 Goalies" in the entire league with a better career SV% than James Reimer, and he is younger than EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM, except for 2013 Vezina winner Sergei Bobrovsky.

So, in this case, your opinion is wrong.

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#8 sommervr
June 20 2013, 06:52AM
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Trade for Bernier and flip Reimer to Edmonton. We might be able to pry a 1C out of it.

Buy low sell high. Lateral move for now but Bernier had a higher upside and can catch a puck.

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#9 Ex
June 21 2013, 09:02AM
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There is 82 games in a season... leafs could play each goalie 41 games a piece... Im a hugh reimer fan.... and i do believe the potential is there... however the guy does manage to get hurt.. if the leafs could get bernier out of LA for nothing i would take it... nothing wrong with have two good young goalies... could even possibly trade one to move up in the draft or get another impact fwd..

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#10 Sticks17
June 23 2013, 02:03PM
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I can only assume the Leafs plan on trading Riemer now that they have Bernier. Riemer isn't going to settle for being a backup after being one of the top goalies in the NHL last year. My guess is the Leafs plan on moving Riemer for a #1 center.

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