The NHL’s trade deadline is Wednesday, April 3. Following is a player that may be moved. For more “Trade Bait,” click here.
Rumors were flying on Tuesday when Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier didn’t attend the ceremony at the White House honoring his Stanley Cup-winning team.
It turned out that Bernier had gone home to Canada following the death of his grandmother, but the episode underscored how many people are watching to see how his situation plays out in Los Angeles.
It’s no secret the 24-year-old wants to be traded at some point — not that you can blame him, given starter and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick is signed through 2022-23.
In 2011-12, Bernier’s NHL numbers as Quick’s backup were passable — a 5-6-2 record with a .909 save percentage — but not great.
In 2013, he’s 7-2-0 with a .923 save percentage. Much, much better.
The Kings may choose to keep Bernier past the deadline as insurance for an injury to Quick.
And given Quick’s mediocre play this season, Bernier could even find himself on the ice in the playoffs.
On the other hand, Bernier may be best utilized as a trade chip to give the Kings a better shot at defending their title.
Just to throw it out there — what about sending him to Calgary for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester? After all, it’s still not clear if Willie Mitchell (knee) will be able to play again this season, and the Flames really need to start thinking about life after Miikka Kirprusoff.
Related: Bouwmeester, Flames have reportedly discussed trade
Following his stunning 41-game suspension, it looks like Raffi Torres has at least one former teammate in his corner.
We haven’t yet seen how the San Jose Sharks or the NHLPA are reacting to the league’s hammer-dropping decision to punish Torres for his Torres-like hit on Jakob Silfverberg, but Jason Demers decided to put in a good word for Torres tonight.
It was a simple message: “#FreeTorres.”
Demers, now of the Dallas Stars, was once with Torres and the Sharks. (In case this post’s main image didn’t make that clear enough already.)
Perhaps this will become “a thing” at some point.
So far, it seems like it’s instead “a thing (that people are making fun of).”
… You get the idea.
The bottom line is that there are some who either a) blindly support Torres because they’re Sharks fans or b) simply think that the punishment was excessive.
The most important statement came from the Department of Player Safety, though.
Those who feel as though the Boston Bruins may rebound – John Tortorella, maybe? – likely rest some of their optimism on the back of a healthy Zdeno Chara.
It’s possible that he’s merely limping into what may otherwise be a healthy 2015-16 season, but it’s definitely looking like a slow start thanks to a lower-body injury.
The latest sign of a bumpy beginning came on Monday, as several onlookers (including CSNNE.com’s Joe Haggerty) pointed out that Chara was listed on injured reserve.
As Haggerty notes, that move is retroactive to Sept. 24, so his status really just opens up options for the Bruins.
Still … it’s a little unsettling, isn’t it?
The Bruins likely realize that they need to transition away from their generational behemoth, but last season provided a stark suggestion that may not be ready yet. Trading Dougie Hamilton and losing Dennis Seidenberg to injury only make them more dependent on the towering 38-year-old.
This isn’t really something to panic about, yet it might leave a few extra seats open on the Bruins’ bandwagon.