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Kings GM was ‘shocked at the lack of real interest’ in red-hot Bernier

Oct 11, 2013, 3:54 PM EDT

Jonathan Bernier Getty Images

Jonathan Bernier was brilliant again last night in Nashville, stopping all 36 Predators shots in a 4-0 Toronto win.

With the shutout, Bernier’s save percentage rose to a ridiculous .974, the highest among regular starters in the NHL. And while three starts and one relief appearance is a small sample size, Maple Leafs fans have to love what they’re seeing from the 25-year-old who was acquired this summer in a trade with Los Angeles.

Believe it or not, the Leafs were the only team that really seemed to want Bernier, according to Kings general manager Dean Lombardi.

“(Toronto GM) Dave Nonis was really the only one who was seriously interested in him,” Lombardi told ESPN.com. “Everyone else was just tire-kicking. I was shocked at the lack of real interest. He had proven himself again last season. The other reason I think people overlook Bernier is because he is small; they overlook his hockey sense which is his best asset.”

To get Bernier, the Leafs had to send backup goalie Ben Scrivens, forward Matt Frattin and a second-round draft pick to L.A. — hardly a king’s ransom (no pun intended, but what the heck, it works.)

At the time, the move drew criticism from some who wondered why Nonis would choose to give up anything for Bernier when James Reimer was coming off a good season for the Leafs. But in hockey history, not many teams have been doomed by having too many quality goalies, and if Bernier establishes himself as the number one in Toronto, Nonis can always trade Reimer for something in return.

Speaking of teams that may be in the market for a goalie at some point, the Leafs host the Oilers on Saturday.

  1. withseidelinn - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:14 PM

    The only real asset they gave up was the 2nd rounder. Frattin was quickly replaced and Reimer serves as a better backup than Scrivens. Pretty good deal by Nonis.

  2. blue21c - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:28 PM

    Blue Jackets were interested until they got Bob.

    • withseidelinn - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:57 PM

      Who do you think is the better goalie? Bob or Bernier? (Out of curiosity)

  3. sampulls - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Flash in the pan.

  4. thesportsjudge - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:27 PM

    I kinda feel bad for Reimer. Stuck with no defense for a few years in a hockey hotbed, so the press/fans prolly treated him, well, I’ll say not very well. I don’t think I ever heard him complain about the situation. I think he is a pretty good goalie, that if in the right situation (let’s face it, he won’t be able to grow if he is splitting duties with Bernier through no fault of either of their own doing) he could be pretty solid. Personally, I’d rather Reimer than Price( who I think is WAY overrated….though not a bad goalie by any stretch).

  5. 950003cups - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:35 PM

    Neither are gonna be good unless you have defense.

    Look at Lundqvist. No more having 5 shot blockers in front and he’s giving up Touchdowns.

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