By Patrick Flynn
(ISN) – Last night on Hockey Night In Canada, Damien Cox reported that the Maple Leafs are interested in trading Jonathan Bernier before the trade deadline on Monday. With this being a possibility, let’s look at the positives and the negatives of trading Bernier.
The Sharks and Stars are looking for some goaltending depth at the deadline, if their really desperate tomorrow they might be prepared to over pay for Bernier. Bernier is a good goalie on a bad team and would make a great backup on a really good team, so if the Leafs can get something back that’s worth a good starting goalie they should jump right on it. With the Leafs rebuilding over the next few years, they don’t need a high paid goalie on a non playoff team. It would be fine if Reimer became starter during the rebuild because he still gives them a chance to be competitive at a much lower price.
The Oilers have also been looking at the Leafs goalies for the past couple weeks and might make a trade for Bernier. Toronto should be careful with this one because the Oilers aren’t making a playoff push like the Sharks and Stars. With that being said, they aren’t as desperate and probably won’t offer as much, the Leafs can’t just give Bernier away they have to get something reasonable back.
The Leafs might be smart to keep Bernier, he’s only 26 and still hasn’t really hit his prime, While he shows signs of being very good at times, there are still games where he’s shaky and stretches where he’s inconsistent. Most goalies don’t hit their prime until they’re 27, so maybe the Leafs should wait a few more years and see what they have in him.
The flip side to the thought of Reimer being a low cost starter during the rebuild is what to do after the rebuild? If the Leafs trade away Bernier, they will need a real number 1 sooner then later. It’ll just be one more position they need to fix. If they keep Bernier, they will have a sure number 1 after the rebuild and won’t have to worry about searching for a starting goalie.
Now it’s all up to Dave Nonis, Will he keep Bernier for the future like he planned to do when he signed him, or will he try to ripoff off a team that is desperate for a goalie at the deadline?