Report: Columbus is asking about Jonathan Bernier after all

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Earlier this morning, we passed along a story in which Columbus Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson denied having an interest in Los Angeles Kings backup Jonathan Bernier. That might not be the truth, however, as Aaron Portzline “confirms” that Columbus is indeed in talks to acquire Bernier.

Portzline tries to determine what a Bernier trade might cost the Blue Jackets.

What would the Blue Jackets have to give up?

Well, they could simply return the Kings’ first-round pick acquired last February in the Jeff Carter for Jack Johnson deal. The Blue Jackets passed on using it this season, so they have the Kings’ 2013 first-rounder. Perhaps Steve Mason, in the final year of a contract but three years into a slump in Columbus, would be part of the deal, too.

The Kings drafted Bernier 11th overall in 2006, so if they follow up that Stanley Cup run with a strong season, it’s possible they’d get a lower first-rounder in 2013 for Bernier. (Mason isn’t much of a bargaining chip right now, obviously.)

If the Blue Jackets indeed acquired Bernier, they’d have two inexperienced netminders in Bernier and Sergei Bobrovsky. It would be interesting to see which goalie would nab the No. 1 job in that situation, but there’s still a long way to go first.

The Kings would also need to see it as a worthy deal, for one thing.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)