LA Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier — currently plying his trade with Heilbronn of the German second division — has committed to join Team Canada for the upcoming Spengler Cup in Switzerland.
Just one catch: Bernier will only play if the NHL lockout is still going.
The 2012 Spengler will be played in Davos and will feature the host club, Team Canada, Germany’s Adler Mannheim, Swizterland’s Fribourg-Gotteron, the Czech Republic’s Vitkovice Steel and Russia’s Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
Bernier, who would likely be Canada’s No. 1 netminder, has enjoyed some much-needed playing in the Bundesliga this season, appearing in 13 games with Heilbronner while posting a 2.57 goals-against average.
(To put that in perspective, he only played 16 games for the Kings during the entire 2011-12 regular season.)
The Canadian Press’ Chris Johnston spoke to Hockey Canada vice president Brad Pascall, who acknowledged he’s been in contact with Bernier and a number of locked-out NHLers playing in Europe — Tyler Seguin, Jason Spezza, Patrice Bergeron, John Tavares, Matt Duchene, Brooks Laich — about their availability for the Spengler.
It’s understood all are in a similar situation to Bernier, in that their decisions are contingent on the lockout.