Leafs extend qualifying offer to Bernier

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The Toronto Maple Leafs made waves – and ruffled James Reimer’s feathers – by acquiring Jonathan Bernier’s negotiating rights.

Still, for the 24-year-old to be the team’s goalie of the future (or one of the team’s goalies of the future), the Maple Leafs need to actually sign the soon-to-be restricted free agent to a contract. The Buds got the ball rolling in that regard on Monday by extending him a qualifying offer, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.

Shannon indicated that the two sides are working out a long-term offer, so it’s clear that GM Dave Nonis & Co. are Bernier believers.

How do you pay a much-hyped guy with 62 regular season games of experience spread out over five seasons? We’ll find out soon enough.

(Assuming some other team doesn’t swoop in with a huge offer sheet to make things even more fascinating, of course.)