BREAKING: Leafs acquire Jonathan Bernier from the Kings

Well, there you have it.

For the first time since the Ed Belfour era, the Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t need a goaltender. Then they traded three assets for a man who is most likely to be the team’s backup.

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We’ll have a little more on this later, but the initial prognosis is that that’s a fairly underwhelming return for the Kings. We all know about Ben Scrivens (and we will miss him, he’s probably the smartest NHLer in the game) but Matt Frattin isn’t a player you can conceivably expect to play in your Top Six. He’s a good bottom-end player with good forechecking ability and speed, but his finish and defensive game isn’t necessarily there.

It may be worthwhile to start thinking about how Randy Carlyle is going to deploy a #1 and #1A goaltender, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing but the issue with acquring Bernier was always about the cost. A backup was always going to be an important component given James Reimer’s issues with his health, but he had played his way into the starter’s role and at least earned himself a shot over an 82-game season.

So this trade leaves me a little sour, particularly since the loss of Matt Frattin and Clarke MacArthur means that one of the Leafs’ organizational strengths last year turns into a weakness. A good number of solid depth wingers that could skate and shoot has turned into the Colton Orr show. Hopefully the Leafs can add a piece from that area, but dealing Frattin and losing MacArthur means Toronto is thin on the Bottom Six where last year they were very strong.

Ugh. The last time Dave Nonis dealt for a goaltender, he did a much, much better job.

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  • RexLibris

    Given the Leafs’ poor underlying numbers last season, and the potential hollowing out of their bottom six depth, this is worrying.

    One could easily imagine a scenario where the Leafs’ shot differential comes back to haunt them beginning next season such that Reimer and Bernier are blamed for more systemic shortcomings.

    The price isn’t terribly dear for the Leafs, and arguably a reasonable return for the Kings, in spite of what the team and fans may have thought of Bernier. But as with any player acquisition, if they are not deployed appropriately or supported to maximize their strengths then it becomes a net loss for the team.

    How do Leafs’ fans feel about this trade when compared to the Bishop and Lindback moves?

  • millzy09

    I’m trying to see the logic in it and be optimistic, but I’m failing to do both. This was dumb.

    Also, say what you want about Frattin, he’s got scoring ability and he’s a solid physical competitor. This is why the Kings will continue to be successful. Just like the Bruins, they know how to hoard depth players with physicality and skill.

  • millzy09

    Kings fan here. Bernier was our ace in the hole. He helped us win the Cup last year and I’m not sure the Kings would have made it to the playoffs this year without Bernier. I’m sad to see him go because he’s not only a good goalie, but he’s a character. Still, he wanted a trade because he knew he would always be in Quick’s shadow if he stayed with the Kings. Bernier is only 24 years old, but Quick has a 10 year contract. The Kings didn’t even consider any offers from anyone in the West because dealing Bernier and then losing games to him would have rubbed salt in fresh wounds. Of course, I don’t know much about Frattin. He played with our Assistant GM’s son, so I’m guessing LA knows quite a bit about him. Scrivens? We’ll have to see. The Kings have two AHL/ECHL goalies in the pipes for back-up, but in my opinion they have a lot of development to do before they are ready for the NHL, so Scrivens is an interesting choice in this trade. Bernier will be a big loss for LA. However, I do think the Kings got the better deal out of this trade (and a second round pick in a coming year besides). I wish Bernier good luck and a fantastic future. We will miss him. Toronto: You will like this guy.

  • millzy09

    The writer is an idiot. We’re ready to win the cup now. Scrivener isn’t ready, he sucks we don’t have a roster spot open for fratten plus when do you think that 2nd round pick will play 2-3 years from now. If he ever makes it. Bernie’s could be the next toskala and I would still like the trade. What we gave up for him won’t hurt us. How did scrivener do for us in the playoffs. How did fratton do for us. We need an immediate impact player right now nd we got him. great trade. Go leafsssss

    • millzy09

      You must be trolling. First, learn the names involved. Second, SCRIVENS is a backup, so what did you expect him to do? Third, by that logic, what did Bernier do for the Kings in the playoffs? Go away.

  • millzy09

    I don’t see what Matt Frattin can do that Marlies like D’Amigo can’t. Our prospect pool is literally loaded with depth Bottom 6 wingers, losing Frattin isn’t a big deal IMO.

    Really, it comes down to the 2nd round pick. Will he turn out to be a better player than Bernier? Who knows, it’s way too early to tell. The doom and gloom is pretty ridiculous.

  • caper7

    Anyone else thinking the deal was a precursor for another deal to happen?

    Possibly involving either Bernier or Reims?

    This deal just doesn’t make sense…just seems like it is a set up for a domino to fall.

  • jasken

    This is a little too much for Bernier but I figured a trade was gonna happen for him. Although unproven truly he is worth some risk. Frattin in this trade tells me that quite possibly the Leafs really are looking at being contenders depending on what they do in the next few weeks. If they got rid of Frattin so they would have a place to put Clarkson and getting rid of Phaneuf would be a mistake if their doing that to pay for Clarkson. Although I like the way the Leafs are headed sacrificing defense is not the way. But lines Kessel/Weiss/JVR, Kule/Grabo/MacArthur, Kadri/Clarkson/Lupul is a potential possibility if Bozak refuses to take their offer. Still they would have to improve defense.

  • I think that the cost-benefit of this works out in the Leafs favour. As you said, the players the Leafs give up are replacement-level talent. If Bernier ends up pushing Reimer and either: 1) Outplays Reimer and earns the #1 job, or 2) Pushes Reimer to be better while still giving quality backup goaltending play than the deal works out for the Leafs. Bigger potential reward than risk.

  • millzy09

    What makes you say macarthur is done? He is still under contract to the leafs and may get resigned.

    Also are you surpised that the rumour mill was correct on this trade. Amazing. That is 1 right for gazillion incorrect.

  • I’m not here to put context on who is worth what or if this guy is better than that guy. I’m here to tell you, you’re going to like this kid, Bernier. It won’t take long to appreciate what he brings to the game. We (Kings) do have a solid defense, which could possibly make Bernier look better than he is, but I’m confident he’ll be your starter much sooner than later. He’s solid! The kid is damn near technically perfect, always in position, calm, no extra movements, and the puck sticks to him like glue, oh and he’s not below to many people when it comes to handling the puck. The only negative I can think of, is not knowing his mental toughness regarding how he’ll react to tough stretches of mediocre/bad play…because he never had a bad stretch with us.