Jul 12, 2012, 1:39 PM EDT
In fact, the 23-year-old goalie reportedly asked to be traded before the deadline, but the Kings refused.
Bernier then spent the entire playoffs on the bench watching Jonathan Quick win the Conn Smythe Trophy.
Quick then signed a 10-year contract extension, all but ensuring Bernier, the 11th overall pick in the 2006 draft, would be moving on.
If it’s true that Bernier asked to be dealt at the deadline, it’s no surprise the club said no. At the time, Quick only had a year left on his contract, after which he could become an unrestricted free agent. For the Kings, trading Bernier then watching Quick walk away next summer would’ve been the worst-case scenario.
The challenge for the Kings now is to maximize Bernier’s trade value. His numbers in 2011-12 were passable – a 5-6-2 record with a .909 save percentage — but not great.
It could be argued GM Dean Lombardi would be better off keeping Bernier in a backup role in hopes those numbers improve.
According to Lariviere, however, Bernier expects to be traded close to training camp and “preferably close to home.”
Bernier is spending the day showing off the Stanley Cup in his hometown of Laval, Quebec, which is just north of Montreal. If he wants to be traded close to home, hopefully somebody told him Carey Price just signed a big contract with the Canadiens.
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