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Let the Jonathan Bernier trade speculation begin

Jun 18, 2013, 1:19 PM EDT

Jonathan Bernier AP

We’ll kick it off with a story from Newsday, which reports the New York Islanders are “in the mix for Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier, according to several sources.”

The Isles make sense as a destination, given they’ve yet to re-sign 37-year-old Evgeni Nabokov, who’s not getting any younger and was less than stellar in the team’s first-round defeat to the Penguins.

Kevin Poulin, 23, and Anders Nilsson, 23, are also in the organization, but at this point, Bernier, 24, would be considered the better goaltending prospect.

Forward Nino Niederreiter is a possible trade chip the Isles could play, but will that be enough? According to Newsday, the Panthers, Leafs and Flyers should be in on Bernier as well, and “perhaps the Wild and Coyotes.”

Which brings us to this tweet from Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos:

We’re not sure what the Leafs would, or could, give up for Bernier — at any rate, James Reimer wasn’t the problem in Toronto this season — but if the Flyers are indeed in pursuit, expect to hear Sean Couturier‘s name come up in speculation. (Granted, the Kings are already blessed with tremendous depth down the middle, but you can never really have enough of that.)

PS — Bernier signed up with powerhouse agent Pat Brisson on Monday after firing his previous representative, Denis Maiorino.


Kings have reportedly talked to 10 teams about Bernier

What will the Isles do about their goaltending?

Will the Isles make a play for Luongo?

  1. jacketsfan7 - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:33 PM

    I wouldn’t mind seeing him on Long Island , he needs to go to a team where he can start though

    • islesjb - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:35 PM

      He would start in LI. I think there’s hope in Poulin but he won’t be ready to carry the load next year. Love Nabby but he cannot handle another work load like last year’s either.

    • jl9830 - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      How do you reckon Long Island is a place he wouldn’t start?

  2. islesjb - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:34 PM

    Please make this happen. Nino, De haan and this year’s first for Bernier. Isles need a long term answer at goal to compliment JT and eventually Strome.

    Flyers- stop stealing all the headlines. Sit this round out. Thanks. Leafs can shove it as well- they already have a serviceable goaltender

    • jl9830 - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:43 PM

      That’s an extreme overpayment. Bernier has never proven anything, and his numbers in limited time aren’t that impressive. Yes, he’s a nice prospect, but goalies are unpredictable, so as much as he could be a great #1 goalie, he could also be a mediocre goalie. I’d sign Mike Smith for 2 years and $8-10M before trading Nino, De Haan, and a 15th overall pick for an unknown goalie. If they’re trading that package, they’d better be getting a really good, proven goalie who is under contract.

      • ibieiniid - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:48 PM

        it seems like, from the hype, that an overpayment is what it’d take to win this guy. that’s just how I’m reading it. seems like crazy interest in him.

      • islesjb - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:54 PM

        What I’m really interested in is a long term answer in net. We don’t need a stop gap for the next two years, which in my opinion, is what Mike Smith is (already 30+). I don’t have a lot of confidence in Poulin or Nillson and that’s why a 24 year old with a lot of potential would be perfect for this team.

        Garth needs to position the Isles for when guys like Strome, Brock Nelson and Reinhart are reaching their prime and this team can make a real run at a championship.That is why I don’t agree with finding a short term answer in Mike Smith for the next two years. We need a true, young, long term answer in net. If we are going to compete with deep pocketed teams like the Leafs and Flyers, we need to be willing to give up a decent amount.

      • islesjb - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:57 PM

        @ibieniid- exactly. It’s not a sure thing but some time you have to take risks and I think it could be a worth while risk. Sometimes you have to gamble and risk overpaying guys to prime yourself to win.
        I trust Garth Snow, as a former goalie, to do his due diligence and not do anything stupid. The package I suggested, in my opinion, wouldn’t be an over-payment if this guy is really the real deal.

      • adambballn - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:00 PM

        If you don’t have a solid defense what’s the point of having a good goaltender? Teams will still score on you, Bernier won’t fix their problems. I think the Islanders have more pressing needs.

      • islesjb - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:07 PM

        I don’t think they have any more pressing need than at goaltender (long-term) and I think most Isles fans will agree.

        It was definitely not great this year but I’m not as concerned about their defense. Travis Hamonic is hopefully about to get locked up long term. Lubo will provide a strong veteran presence for the immediate future and will QB the PP. Amac didn’t have his best year but he’s proven to be a serviceable defense-men at this point. Most importantly, Matt Donovan has been extremely consistent in the AHL and there is a lot of promise in him as Streit’s replacement. Brian Strait and Thomas Hickey also showed a lot of potential this year as well. Lastly, Griffen Reinhart was taken 3 overall last year and should make the Roster within the next two years.
        Goal tending is the Isles’ biggest need long term.

      • jl9830 - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        If the hype outweighs the objective evidence about him, then the Islanders should stay away. I know you might be interested in a long term answer, but if its not available, you can’t just pretend Bernier is that guy. The evidence says that while he might be good, he might also be pretty mediocre.

        Mike Smith is 30. He could be the answer for the next 5 years if he’s solid over the next two. Goalies are way too fickle to try to find one to be in goal for the next ten years. You treat them like stocks- buy low, sell high. Mike Smith had the Phoenix Coyotes in the Western Conference Finals the year before this one. Don’t be so quick to dismiss him when he’ll cost only money.

      • islesjb - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        Luckily for me I don’t have the burden of scouting/evaluating him. I’m basing everything off of the assumption that 1) Garth will do his due diligence and 2) the move will only be made if he is really worth it (or if there is a good chance that he can further develop into a true long term #1)

        I understand what you are saying but you have to admit, IF this guy is the real deal, he would be a lot better for the organization than a guy like Mike Smith. If they can’t land him or he isn’t worth it in the end, I wouldn’t be opposed to a Mike Smith type signing.

        So I guess what I’m saying is that the hype really does outweigh his talent, I’m hoping that the isles would be smart enough to stay away- otherwise, do what you can to lock him up. I understand that I’m doing a lot of speculating here.

      • jl9830 - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        Well, that’s kind of an untenable position to put the Islanders in. Essentially, trade for him if he’s the real deal, but don’t trade for him if he isn’t? The only way you’ll know is if he gets a chance as a full-time starter, which he’ll only get AFTER we’ve traded for him. Instead of trading Nino Niederreiter (who scored 28 goals in the AHL at 20 years old) for a “maybe,” I’d sign Mike Smith, who is less of a maybe, and will only cost money instead of talent.

        You’re essentially trying to see the cards on the table before placing your bet. You can’t do that.

      • islesjb - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:33 PM

        Just because he hasn’t carried a full season’s workload doesn’t mean they haven’t seen enough of him to make an evaluation on what he is worth. The Isles organization as a whole has proven to be solid talent evaluators in the recent past (Moulson, Nino, Pap, Grabner) so I’m trusting them to do the same with Bernier.
        Maybe they haven’t seen all the cards on the table, but they’ve seen the flop; based on that, they can determine if it is worth the risk to go all-in or not (if we’re using poker metaphors). Based on what I’ve heard about this kid, and what the prevailing opinion of him his, I think it is worth the risk. Ultimately that is up to the Isles to decide.

      • islesjb - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:35 PM

        Risk is involved in any trade- there is rarely ever a sure thing. Bernier is not a sure thing but he may be worth the risk

      • Anoesis - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:09 AM

        See jkaflagg’s comment below. There are good reasons Bernier has high trade value.

  3. ibieiniid - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:38 PM

    ok. I live on the east coast, so I rarely stay up to watch LA games, let alone Bernier games. I looked at his stats, that’s a good year for a backup. But does he really look like he’d be a savior for whichever team he’s starting for? Aside from this year, his stats aren’t AMAZING, and we have no idea what he’d do in a starting position, right?

    other than him being a young guy stuck in a backup position, is this kid really worth all the hype?

    just wondering.

    • islesjb - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:42 PM

      To be honest I haven’t seen a lot of him either so I’m just going off the fact that there is hype. NHL scouts and organizations in general usually know talent when they see it so there has to be a reason he’s gaining so much attention from other clubs.

      • ibieiniid - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:45 PM

        ya see, I think i’ve seen him play one game. hardly enough to start my own scouting report lol. but maybe some Kings fans can fill us in as to why when anybody mentions trading for a goalie, Bernier comes up (aside from, like I said, being stuck in a backup role when he’s apparently a starter)

      • pirovash88 - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:56 PM

        As a Kings’ fan i can tell you that he’s definitely #1 material. If not for Quick’s stellar 2012 season, he’d still be in the running of being our #1 here in L.A. Bernier’s been wanting to leave since then and i’m sure he’s gonna get some great offers from other teams.

      • ibieiniid - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:11 PM

        that might be the answer I was looking for. I didn’t realize he’s been VOCAL about wanting to be traded. that’d explain why his name always comes up in goalie trade talks.

    • drone501 - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:06 PM

      was wondering that too. what has this guy done. what has he won on the way up to the nhl.

  4. pirovash88 - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:53 PM

    He’s a great goal tender and definitely deserves to start as a #1 somewhere. He was great for the Kings at the beginning of the season when Quick was having a hard time. I could definitely see this kid having long term success.

  5. jacketsfan7 - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    I’ve seen him play a lot of games , he may not have “Amazing” stats but he’s young and he’ll get better

    • DonkeyStick - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:59 PM

      You’ve seen him 14 times and you call that “a lot”…….You’d be a great GM

  6. jacketsfan7 - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:16 PM

    1.87 GAA , save percentage is 92%
    14 GP , 9-3 record with 1 shutout
    I think he’s worth it

    • jl9830 - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:40 PM

      That’s in like 12 games this year. That’s quite a small sample on which to base an opinion on Bernier.

      I like Bernier, but I’m not sure he’s worth what will ultimately be traded for him.

  7. jkay1818 - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:41 PM

    it’s almost as if you are talking to yourself.

    • islesjb - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:44 PM

      had I not been going back and forth j9830 then yeah. cool

  8. jacketsfan7 - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    I agree with you 100% all the way islesjb , he’d be a good fit and bernier and quick were neck and neck until the 2012 season when quick broke out and had an unbelievable season , I think if the isles get him and sign nabby to a 1-year deal , maybe they can evaluate bernier and make their decision of how good he is , because I think he’s worth the risk

    • islesjb - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      Yes if everything I’ve heard is true, then I think it is a gamble they should take. They would probably have to lock him up for a little longer than a year though- if he ended up having a great first season, they wouldn’t want to lose him the following year after having sacrificed a lot to acquire him.

    • jkaflagg - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:44 PM

      Agree – if you forced me to pick between Bernier & Quick two years ago, I’d have taken Bernier; and the fact that Quick emerged into an elite goalkeeper doesn’t make Bernier a dog….

  9. jacketsfan7 - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Definitely , I wish CBJ would’ve done that with bobrovsky , now look what’s happening

  10. jacketsfan7 - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    True but he has a lot of potential , if he didn’t , there wouldn’t be any hype

    • islesjb - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:20 PM

      he was a first round draft pick for a reason, albeit in 2006. Que the RDP jokes

  11. jimw81 - Jun 18, 2013 at 4:57 PM

    he’s going to Flyers. They have more to offer in a deal for him. i think holmgren is doing a total 180 on this team after the embarrassment of last offseason. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a big trade with big names involved. plus remember, kings are flyers of the west coast.

    • Anoesis - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:04 AM

      That tired claim about the Kings being “the west coast Flyers” is b.s.

      Gagne left the Flyers as a free agent and played a year for Tampa Bay before signing with the Kings.

      The Flyers traded away Richards and Carter, former captain Richards to the Kings and Carter to Columbus. I still remember Flyers fans on here saying good riddance to Richards, that he wasn’t deserving of the C. The Kings traded to get Carter from the BJs.

      Williams started out with the Flyers, but had injury issues. The Flyers traded him to Carolina and they eventually dealt him to L.A.

      One of those guys actually went directly from the Flyers to the Kings (Richards for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and a second round draft pick). The rest took paths through other teams to end up in L.A. That hardly makes the Kings “Flyers West.” In fact, if you go by direct exchanges the Flyers are more “Kings East.”

  12. bowens3181 - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    I’m not doubting he gets traded, however trading any meaningful assets for him would be stupid. Interested teams simply need to wait for either A) the Kings asking price to drop, because it is currently exorbitantly high, or B) wait until July 5th and offer-sheet him. Bernier has potential, but he is not a sure-thing, and giving up top prospects for him would be silly. Obviously someone is going to pull the trigger on a deal, it just won’t be the smart thing to do.

    • jimw81 - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      kings want to get this done now.

    • Anoesis - Jun 19, 2013 at 12:06 AM

      Wait too long for the “price to drop” and someone else will nab him. He won’t be around in July for anyone to make an offer and get him for nothing.

  13. jkaflagg - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:42 PM

    Just get him to the Eastern Conference, so the Kings don’t see him in the playoffs until the Finals – he’s that good. While teams know that LA has to trade him soon to avoid any RFA offer sheets, they seem to be doing a good job of creating a market to get better value for him.

  14. jkaflagg - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    See a lot of comments about judging Bernier based on 12 games last season….good GMs will base their decision on his full resume, which includes carrying his teams in the QMJHL, WJC experience, carrying his AHL team into the playoffs a few years ago and being a solid teammate on a Cup winner and 12 Western Conference finalist…..nothing’s a sure thing, but there’s a lot to like here…..Lombardi said it best when asked about trading Bernier last season: “He’s a big part of where we are right now”…..

  15. pone27 - Jun 18, 2013 at 6:58 PM

    Hawks fan from LI. I know a lot about Bernier.

    He will be a very, very solid scoop. He is starter ready right now.

    The Kings know they have to move him now because this kid will show he is worth starter cash. I love Bernier. Kid is solid between the pipes, very positional and very agile.

    Imo, Isles dangle Nino, a second tier prospect and their first for Bernier. Nino is obviously not a plug into the Isles system. The first rounder essentially has to be involved no matter who gets Bernier. Hope to see him in an Isles sweater.

  16. kingsforever - Jun 18, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    FYI if you look up his stats….

    Take note that Bernier did not lose a single start this season. His losses came from replacing Quick mid-game

  17. jr507 - Jun 18, 2013 at 9:03 PM

    trouble with the trade is both teams strength up front is down the middle. that may make Garth more hesitant to keep Nino (unless they plan on pushing Nelson or Lee to the wing). Not sold on Kabanov or Petrov as legit wing prospects. Bernier would be a great fit though

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