Maple Leafs lock up Jonathan Bernier for two years, $5.8M


The Toronto Maple Leafs claim that Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer have an equal chance to grab the top goalie gig next season, but the two goalies aren’t receiving equal pay.

It appears that Bernier isn’t a restricted free agent any longer, as the team signed him to a two-year, $5.8 million contract, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie. That 2.9 million cap hit is a little more than a million over Reimer’s $1.8 million mark.

That doesn’t mean the team is rolling out the red carpet for Bernier, but it is quite the statement from a front office that has made a ton of big moves in the last few days.

The 24-year-old only has 62 regular season games on his NHL resume and has never appeared in more than 25 in a season, so he’s getting a big chance to prove that he’s worthy of the hype that comes with being the 11th pick of the 2006 NHL Draft.

Hopefully the young netminder is really ready for the pressure, because the spotlight will shine brightly on him this season.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: