Jan 30, 2012, 3:58 PM EDT
The New Jersey Devils have upgraded Steve Bernier’s AHL contract to a two-way deal, meaning the 26-year-old winger will be eligible to join the club.
“He’s still on the same American League contract. We switched it to the minimum NHL so he could be called up and down,” Devils GM Lou Lamoriello told The Star-Ledger. “He still has a two-way for the same $105,000 (minor league) salary. We would’ve done this a couple months ago but he broke his hand.”
Bernier had originally turned down a similar two-way deal from New Jersey after attending training camp, only to
come crawling back accept an AHL contract with Albany a month later. Now with Adam Henrique (groin) and Travis Zajac (ankle) on the limp, Bernier’s journey back to the NHL could be close to complete.
And what a journey it’s been. His career began promisingly in San Jose — he had 14 goals and 27 points in 39 games as a rookie — but started to decline after being traded to Buffalo…then further declined after going to Vancouver…then bottomed out completely after being traded to Florida (the Panthers let Bernier walk after his contract expired.)
Bernier was a highly touted prospect in the first round of the 2003 NHL draft. That’s noteworthy, because the first round of the 2003 draft is considered one of the best of all time — notable selections include Marc-Andre Fleury, Eric Staal, Nathan Horton, Thomas Vanek, Milan Michalek, Ryan Suter, Braydon Coburn, Dion Phaneuf, Andrei Kostitsyn, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown and Brent Seabrook.
All of whom went ahead of Bernier, taken 16th overall.
Those that went after Bernier?
- Panthers owners say they’re committed even though team has lost ‘tremendous amounts of money’ 7
- Update: Wild’s Harding out indefinitely with fractured foot 19
- Johansen heads home from Columbus as talks get even messier 17
- Kesler accuses Vancouver media of making up stories, ‘throwing people under the bus’ 22
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal 50
- Mike Yeo is pretty unhappy with Minnesota’s goalie situation 22
- Much to his relief, Lecavalier will start season at center 15
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands 61
- Advantage Kuemper? Harding on crutches after ankle injury 15
- Done deal, finally: Wings ink DeKeyser to two-year, $4.375M extension 11
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (61)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (50)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)