On Friday, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Anaheim Ducks completed their second trade involving a goalie this off-season. First, Anaheim sent Frederik Andersen to the Leafs on June 20th and yesterday, it was Toronto that sent Jonathan Bernier to the Ducks.
Bernier admits to being surprised by the trade, but from the outside it was hardly shocking. He struggled mightily during the 2015-16 season (12-21-3, 2.88 goals-against-average, .908 save percentage) and the acquisition of Andersen clearly made him expendable.
The 27-year-old is no stranger to playing in California. He spent parts of five seasons with the Los Angeles Kings before being shipped to Toronto. With the Leafs, he was coached by Randy Carlyle, who is now in his second stint as head coach of the Ducks.
“Obviously I played for Randy when I first got to Toronto,” said Bernier, per the OC Register. “Knowing him, he’s very detailed on how well he wants to play defensively. So I think it’s a great fit.
“I had to gain his confidence when I got traded to Toronto, but we always got along well. He’s a very detailed coach, and he demands a lot. That’s what you want from your coach.”
A familiar face behind the bench and a change of scenery could be just what the doctor ordered for Bernier. Although he’ll likely play more of a backup role in Anaheim, a good year could land him another opportunity as a starter once his contract expires after next season.