Jonathan Bernier is one of the top goalie prospects in the NHL on a team that already has Vezina candidate Jonathan Quick, so it’s no surprise you’re hearing the 23-year-old’s name pop up in trade rumors. (For example, the one that has him going to Columbus as part of a package for Jeff Carter.)
But Rich Hammond at LA Kings Insider explored this topic yesterday and came up with two good reasons to hold on to the young backup:
1. There’s only so much teams will pay for pedigree. While Bernier was drafted 11th overall in 2006 and had great numbers in the AHL, he’s only played 42 games in the NHL, posting a 2.59 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. In other words, he’s not quite at Cory Schneider’s stage of development yet. But in a year or two, he might be.
2. Quick is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2012-13 season. And as Hammond writes, “The nightmare scenario for the Kings would be to trade Bernier, then have Quick walk next summer.” Not to mention, if Lombardi trades Bernier, Quick would have some serious leverage in contract negotiations.