Leafs sign Jonathan Bernier to two-year deal

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.

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.

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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:

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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.

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  • As things are winding down, I’m starting to move into the acceptance stage. At the very least, the team will be exciting to watch if they manage to win some games.

    The Leafs did manage to have great possession numbers in 09/10 despite having Bozak and Orr on the roster. In the end, a large part of possession comes down to defense which might be fine if Gardiner is able to play against tougher competition and the Gunnarsson/Phaneuf pairing can rebound. Who knows? Maybe a prospect like Percy has a huge breakout season like Hamonic just did.

    Obviously lots of “what-ifs”, I’m just trying to see the other side of things at this point.

  • millzy09

    Cam, what do you think it will take to sign kadri, gunnar and franson? I’ve commented with my concerns a couple times and while trying to be the optimist today…we’re in tight after the big signings and the bernier deal. My shot in the dark totals them around 7-8m collectively leaving us with around 3.5m to sign 3 more players or likely promote.

  • millzy09

    Maple Laffs are a joke, No good players want to play in Canada, the reason American based teams have won the last 20 Stanley Cups and will at least win another 20 more in a row.