Now that Jonathan Bernier is off the market, one of the teams that was in hot pursuit of him could turn their attention to another French-Canadian stopper.
Michael Russo of The Star Tribune reports the Minnesota Wild have inquired with the Pittsburgh Penguins about their maligned goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. The Wild were one of three teams believed to be in the final race for Bernier, but now that he’s off to Toronto the Wild and GM Chuck Fletcher have to look elsewhere.
Minnesota could just re-sign their own unrestricted free agent in Niklas Backstrom and stop their search, but their pursuit of Bernier indicates they’re headed in a different direction in goal. With the money the team has invested in Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, skimping on goaltending would seem like a bad idea.
Boston’s Patrice Bergeron was able to escape the hospital last night and fly home with the Bruins today after being hurt in Game 5. So just what is wrong with arguably their most important forward? Claude Julien is being cheeky about that.
Julien met with reporters today in Boston and did nothing to clear up what Bergeron’s injury is.
“He’s day-to-day,” he said. “Isn’t that good enough? Day-to-day. [It’s] a body injury.”
Ah yes, the mysterious “body injury,” the same ailment Vancouver’s Cory Schneider dealt with in the first-round of the playoffs. Julien expanded a bit more and threw in a compliment for rookie Carl Soderberg.
“What does day-to-day mean? I don’t know if he’ll skate [Monday morning]. He may, and that’s what day-to-day is. I’m trying to be as clear as I can here. At the same time, I like Soderberg’s game. Anybody who knows that this guy hadn’t played in two months and played the way he did should be impressed. I know I was. He had good jump. He had no fear.”
All this means is we’ll be watching closely tomorrow to see if Bergeron hits the ice for morning skate and then again in pregame warm-ups.
Right when you thought the Flyers might be this summer’s busiest team, here come the Toronto Maple Leafs.
TSN’s Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie both say they’ve heard rumblings that Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf is available for trade. Dreger says Leafs GM Dave Nonis will trade anyone but hasn’t received calls on Phaneuf as of yet. That might change now that everyone knows he could be had.
This news comes on the heels of the Leafs dealing for former Kings backup Jonathan Bernier, a move that throws him into the mix with James Reimer for the starting job in Toronto.
There are plenty of teams who could use a No. 1 defenseman and Phaneuf fits that billing. Curiously enough, Toronto is a team that already needs help in their top-four on the blue line and dealing the team captain would have to net an upgrade there.
Now that the Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired Jonathan Bernier from the Los Angeles Kings, the one question that comes up now regarding the summer is simple:
Where does Roberto Luongo go now?
There was no secret about Toronto’s desire for Luongo and the rumors persisted for the better part of a year that he could wind up there. Now with Toronto out of the picture (unless GM Dave Nonis decides to get really crazy), the field of teams that could go after the high-priced Canucks netminder is axed by one. Here are a few candidates:
New York Islanders: Rick DiPietro isn’t the answer and Evgeni Nabokov is an elder statesman who looked weak in the playoffs. He’s also a free agent this summer. The Isles also have a disgruntled prospect who reportedly wants out in Nino Niederreiter who would make a great trade chip. The two teams have been linked before, so why not send Lu back to the Island?
Florida Panthers: Another former stomping ground for Luongo. He still lives there in the offseason and he even asked to be moved there last year. The Panthers’ incumbents next season are Scott Clemmensen and Jacob Markstrom and the latter struggled last season but the Panthers were also terrible. Luongo with a young team poised to climb like Florida would be a heck of a coup.
Phoenix Coyotes: So say the team gets a new owner and they’ve got money to burn. Sure they might bring back free agent Mike Smith, but hey, why not Luongo? He’d thrive in Dave Tippett’s system and we’re sure he’d love life in the desert or Seattle. This is a total stab in the dark, but if the team did move to Seattle he’d provide a big name and a reasonably familiar face.
Philadelphia Flyers: Ha ha ha ha… No, I don’t think so. Besides, they’ve already got Ilya Bryzgalov’s monster contract they might buy out this summer.
The Jonathan Bernier sweepstakes are over and the Toronto Maple Leafs have come out on top.
L.A. sends Bernier to the Leafs in exchange for forward Matt Frattin, backup goalie Ben Scrivens, and Toronto’s choice of either a 2014 or 2015 second-round pick.
Bernier has been seeking to be traded out of L.A. since the end of their Stanley Cup run last summer and reiterated that hope again this year. Now he heads to Toronto where he’ll compete with James Reimer for the No. 1 job and potentially a world of debate over who the top guy should be.
Bernier had a strong bounceback season this year going 9-3-1 with a 1.88 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.
For the Kings, picking up Frattin helps them out depth-wise at forward and gives them a fast-skating player with a knack for the net. In 25 games this season, he had seven goals and eight assists for the Leafs.
Scrivens, meanwhile, slots in right now as the backup for Jonathan Quick and after the year he had this season, it’s an ideal role for him. While Quick will get the vast majority of starts, Scrivens showed he can fill in well going 7-9-0 with a 2.65 GAA and a .915 SV%.
More importantly for the Kings? Frattin ($925K) and Scrivens ($612.5K) come cheaply with a combined cap hit of just over $1.5 million. Bernier is a restricted free agent this summer and set to likely make a bit more than that.
Update (2:22 p.m. ET): TSN’s Darren Dreger adds the Leafs also sent $500,000 to the Kings in the deal. Dean Lombardi is a wizard.