It wasn’t a particularly good afternoon for Dave Nonis, but Nonis finished it off during the evening landing about the right price for goaltender Jonathan Bernier, at a manageable term.
TOR signs Jonathan Bernier to two year deal worth a total of $5.8M. CHI signs Nik Khabibulin to one year deal.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 6, 2013
When searching for comparable players after the trade was made, I determined that goaltenders in Bernier’s situation landed salary cap hits of about $2.7-million. Bernier lands $100k above that. With the two-year term, there isn’t a lot of risk on the deal, although still a lot of questions as to why the Leafs decided that they had to spend to upgrade a goaltender that was named almost unanimously the Maple Leafs’ MVP this past season by our readers at TLN.
Reimer never took to Nonis, as the Leafs general manager has spent his entire term in Toronto looking for an upgrade and eyed Bernier this whole time. In a vacuum, I guess it should be seen as a positive that Toronto is paying less on their goaltending than any team but the Philadelphia Flyers. The term will carry Bernier to his UFA years, so there isn’t a salary cap issue if Bernier doesn’t improve on his career .912 save percentage now that he’ll get some regular minutes as a starter.
Mirtle is a little more pessimistic:
Only backup or tandem goalies with cap hits higher than $3.4-million are Fleury, Brodeur, Hiller and Halak, all of whom signed as starters.
— James Mirtle (@mirtle) July 6, 2013
I’m not sure where I stand there. In a vacuum, the Bernier deal could have been a lot worse, and the $500k in salary retention will only cost the Leafs this upcoming season.
I guess while I’m not overly enthused about Bernier, I think this deal could have been a lot worse. Those drops in the bucket already cost the Toronto Maple Leafs Mikhail Grabovski, but we’ve fretted enough about that $500k.