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Bernier embraces new challenge in Toronto

Jun 23, 2013, 7:29 PM EDT

jonathanberniercloseupgetty Getty Images

Jonathan Bernier finally got what he wanted on Sunday: a change of scenery and an opportunity to take the No. 1 goalie job. He didn’t deny his elation to

“I’m very happy, obviously,” Bernier said. “Toronto has always been a great market; especially with the good young team they have now. It feels kind of like L.A. when I first got there in that we all grew up together. Hopefully I can fit in right away.”

Still, as Toronto Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis notes, he isn’t guaranteed to get most of the jobs instead of incumbent netminder James Reimer. Bernier, 24, seems to embrace the situation, though.

“I went through some ups and downs in L.A., but they treated me very well and I’m thankful for that,” Bernier said. “This is a new challenge and I’m going to show people what I can do. At the same time I’ll be with a great goalie in Reimer, so it’s not going to be easy. I just have to do what I know I can do and hopefully have success.”

That much will be expected in Toronto.

  1. jacketsfan7 - Jun 23, 2013 at 7:35 PM

    Shear class , him and Reiner will dominate next year

  2. vanindeed - Jun 23, 2013 at 7:40 PM

    I don’t get this move. Reimer has done more than Bernier ever has.

    • Anoesis - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:46 AM

      I was unaware Reimer has his name on the Cup (not counting the Kelly Cup). Reimer has had several injuries during his time with Toronto, so adding Bernier is a good insurance move.

      • vanindeed - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:37 PM

        I was unaware that Bernier played the entire playoffs and stood on his head and won the Conn Smythe…oh wait that was the other guy

  3. kingsforever - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:06 PM

    Bernier is their number 1. But nothing is wrong with trying to spark healthy competition between the 2.

  4. isithockeyseasonyet - Jun 23, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    I don’t get this move tho, didn’t reimer have a good year last year? I’m not trying to bash Toronto, no beef there but I feel like they should have been trying to pick up a goal scoring forward

    • dueman - Jun 24, 2013 at 3:24 AM

      Is there a new rule that says teams are only allowed to do one thing, and one thing only in the off season? The cup hasn’t even been handed out yet, so I think the Leafs have a bit more time to do other things still. I don’t know, call me crazy, but there might be one or two decent free agents they will try to pick up too. What this move did was give Toronto a one/two punch in net that will rival any team in the league. They are both great guys that will push each other to be the best that they can be. A smart move by Nonis for sure.

  5. DonkeyStick - Jun 23, 2013 at 9:17 PM

    Thank God Flyers didn’t do it!

  6. nothanksimdriving123 - Jun 23, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    When I was a kid, the Leafs had Johnny Bower and Terry Sawchuk splitting the crease duties. That seemed to work out pretty well. Of course, they also had a few HoF-bound D-men too, so there’s that. And a handful of HoF-bound forwards. Keep going Mr Nonis.

  7. LampyB - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:20 AM

    Bernier def takes no. 1 in toronto, reimer is shaky and nowhere near the caliber of Bernier. Leafs fans should be dancing in the streets, huge pickup here.

  8. beergold - Jun 24, 2013 at 8:55 AM

    Welcome to Laff Land, where hockey careers go to die!

  9. Anoesis - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:40 AM

    Bernier says he’s “very happy” and “Toronto has always been a great market.” Where are the pundits who said he didn’t want to be on that team?

    The Leafs can now focus on their other needs, knowing they have two good (potentially great) stoppers in net. Depending on how far they go next year they won’t have to worry about wearing out a goaltender.

    • leiterfelixleiter - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM

      Yeah, I really expected him to tell the Toronto media how disappointed he was to be on the Leafs and how crappy of an organization they are and have been. Shocking that he would have good things to say about a team he was just traded to.

  10. leiterfelixleiter - Jun 24, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Bernier has the potential to be a good goalie but has never been given the chance to show what he can do. The Leafs will give him that chance. Yes, Reimer had a fine year but is he’s also still on the team. Why is this a bad thing? Toronto got an upgrade in net (Bernier is better than Scrivens) and only gave up an AHL forward and a 2nd round pick to get it. That’s a good trade. Bernier could become a very good starter for the Leafs for years to come and, if so, this will look like a steal. If he sucks, though, all you gave up was an AHL forward and a 2nd round pick. The worst case scenario is that you still need a new back-up goalie. The best case scenario is that you’ve got a stud goalie for the next 10+ years. This is a good thing for Toronto and there’s no reason to question the motives of the deal or wring your hands about it.

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