It sounds like the Toronto Maple Leafs have made a strong bid in the Jonathan Bernier sweepstakes and that might send ripples through Philadelphia, according to CSN Philly’s sources.
The details of the bid aren’t known, but the Flyers aren’t really talking to the Kings and likely don’t want to match what’s already on the table at this time.
Although Toronto is believed to be the current leaders for Bernier’s services and the Flyers might be out, the Florida Panthers, New York Islanders, Minnesota Wild, and recently the New Jersey Devils have also been listed as possible trading partners.
The Devils would be an interesting choice as they already have Martin Brodeur and Johan Hedberg signed for the 2013-14 campaign. Still, the Brodeur era is coming to a close and acquiring the 24-year-old goaltender would help ease the transition. After years working as Jonathan Quick’s understudy, it’s believed that Bernier is ready to serve as a number one netminder.
If he does end up going to Toronto, he will likely have to compete for playing time with 25-year-old goaltender James Reimer. Reimer is coming off of a great season and Toronto likely sees a Bernier acquisition as a way to hedge their bets in the hopes that at least one of their young goaltenders lives up to expectations in the long run.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Flyers still have to come to a decision on whether or not to buy out Ilya Bryzgalov’s contract. They could certainly use the cap space, even after committing to use a compliance buyout on Daniel Briere, but it’s believed that they will only get rid of their current goaltender is they feel confident in their alternatives.
Getting Bernier might have facilitated Bryzgalov’s dismissal, but based on this report, it looks like Philadelphia might have to look elsewhere for goaltending.