Category Archives: L.A. Kings
Lombardi has indicated to Bernier’s camp that he will give him a chance to play elsewhere. There is a sentimental attachment here as Bernier was the first draft pick Lombardi made as Kings GM in 2006. Still with that said, Bernier is the Kings only real major asset they’re willing to part with.
Teams around the league very aware of Andrei Loktionov’s availability. Currently not much interest in him out there.
— Craig Custance (@CraigCustance) January 30, 2013
**UPDATED NHL RUMORS**Source: Kings in contact with 4 teams in regards to trading (G) Bernier -… fb.me/2sjEQLTzM
— NJ DEVILS BLOG (@njdevilsblog) January 14, 2013
Kings backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier could finally get his wish this season and get traded out of Los Angeles, though a deal might come sooner than later.
Kings GM Dean Lombardi has been looking to trade Bernier since the early part of last season, when the young netminder requested to be moved.
But what we have to consider here is that the Leafs are looking at other options; options that may not cost as much as Luongo in the short term and long term.
What about Jaroslav Halak in St. Louis? He went 26-12-7 last season with a 1.97 GAA and .925 save percentage and still sits second on the depth chart behind Brian Elliott. Or what if Nonis and company felt like Jonathan Bernier was ready for prime time but never got the chance to show it behind Jonathan Quick.
When Jonathan Bernier, the Los Angeles Kings‘ well-regarded backup, announced his desire to be traded, rumours swirled that Toronto would be an appropriate landing spot. Here are five reasons why a Bernier-to-Leafs deal should not be struck.
1. They already have him.
More or less: Canadian goaltender chosen in the 2006 draft; will enter the 2012-13 season at 24 years of age; never played a playoff game; save percentage just on the friendly side of .900.
Take away the Mennonite background and last season’s rash of injuries — not a small deal, we know — and James Reimer is Jonathan Bernier. Neither is quite ready to carry a team into the postseason, but both have shown hints of brilliance that, with patience, health and some strong coaching, could get them to that proverbial next level.
Thing is, on paper, the Leafs goalie looks equal to or better than Bernier, who carries with him the perception of a potential star netminder being selected 11th overall (to Reimer’s 99th) and having won gold with Canada at the 2008 World Junior Hockey Championships. (Bernier went 1-1 in the tournament, splitting post duties with Steve Mason.)
Sure, there are hockey minds out there that believe Bernier’s hybrid stand-up/butterfly style and quick reflexes make him a prime candidate to improve with experience, but who’s to say a healthy Reimer (or even the untested Ben Scrivens, for that matter) won’t appreciate at the same rate?
Reimer has played 71 games to Bernier’s 48, has actually won more games than he’s lost (34-24-9 to Bernier’s 20-17-5), and has posted comparable stats — despite playing behind an appreciably worse defence. Reimer has six shutouts, Bernier five. Bernier has a .910 save percentage, Reimer’s is .914.
2. Bernier wants to be a starter now, but might not deserve it.
Bernier told TVA that he wants to be a starter in this league, but his impatience could be his undoing. Yes, it was only one interview, but Bernier and his Stanley Cup ring could have chosen to play things cool. There are worse jobs than getting paid millions to platoon in for a quarter of a season in a gorgeous city on a young, excitable winning team, allowing your skills to improve under limited scrutiny behind the second-best defence in the entire NHL.
Sure, it goes against what Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke has previously said.
Then again, what hasn’t.
Regardless, the Leafs are reportedly going after young Los Angeles Kings goalie Jonathan Bernier, not the veteran netminder Burke told a Toronto radio station he was interested in acquiring.
According to Hockey Night in Canada’s Andi Petrillo, the Leafs have made an offer to the Kings for Bernier, who was the backup to Jonathan Quick last season. Quick signed a 10-year, $58 million contract extension last month, leading Bernier to ask for a trade.
Earlier this month, Burke told Sportsnet 590 The Fan the Leafs wanted a proven puck-stopper as an upgrade in net. Now it looks like he’s focused on 23-year-old Bernier, who fits more into the might-be-great category.
“We’re not looking at that avenue,” Burke told The Fan. “A couple goalies that moved are young, unproven guys. That’s an avenue were not interested in. We’ve kicked the tires, looked at all the prices, but that’s not an avenue we’re looking at.”
Jonathan Bernier, celebrating his day with the Stanley Cup today in Quebec, reportedly told a local French-language television station, “I expect to be traded before training camp starts,” given that Jonathan Quick has signed a 10-year contract extension with the Kings (link here).
Bernier is certainly entitled to his opinion and expectation, but it doesn’t necessarily dovetail with reality. The situation isn’t any different than what was discussed in Bernier’s player evaluation (link here). If the Kings get an offer for Bernier that they believe will improve the team in the long run, they will trade him. If not, they won’t. Bernier is smart enough and reasonable enough to know that the Kings aren’t going to trade him out of charity, simply because he wants to be a No. 1 goalie. I’d like a Porsche. We can’t all get what we want. Bernier is also quoted as saying the Kings “refused” to trade him last season, which is a reach. They talked to multiple teams but didn’t get an offer they deemed sufficient. The reality is that Bernier is a 23-year-old backup goalie with 42 career starts.
Quick’s re-signing slightly increases the chances that Bernier might be traded in the short term, but it guarantees nothing. The reality is that Bernier is an outstanding young goalie and a great fall-back option for the Kings next season if something should happen to Quick. He certainly has the potential to be a No. 1 goalie in the future, but right now the Kings are focused on the Kings’ best interests, as they should be.
Penner said Thursday that he wants to re-sign with the Los Angeles Kings and indicated he would take less money to do so. Penner is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.
Penner said of the chances of returning to the Stanley Cup champions, “I’d say they’re pretty good. I want to be back.” Asked if he would settle for something different in regards to his salary, he said yes.
Penner had a salary cap hit of $4.25 million this past season. He came to the Kings from the Edmonton Oilers in a 2011 trade deadline deal for a first-round pick in 2011, prospect Colten Teubertand a conditional second- or third-round pick in 2012.
Penner was not only quiet for most of this regular season, he had knee and hand injuries and a back injury and was a healthy scratch as recently as February. His play drew sharp criticism from new coach Darryl Sutter.
But Penner awakened during the Kings’ run through the Stanley Cup Playoffs and was promoted to the second line with Mike Richards and Jeff Carter at the end of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Vancouver Canucks. He had seven goals and 10 assists in 65 regular-season games but finished with 11 points in 20 playoff games, including the series-clinching goal against the Phoenix Coyotes in the conference finals.
1. Rick Nash, LW, Columbus: If talk indeed turns to action, Nash will be dealt this summer.
The New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs and San Jose Sharks were left at the alter at the February trade deadline because they weren’t willing to pay the massive price being demanded by Blue Jackets GM Scott Howson.
2. Roberto Luongo, G, Vancouver: There are a lot of teams looking for goaltending: Toronto, the Tampa Bay Lightning, Columbus and the Chicago Blackhawks to name a few.
The issue is the contract given to Luongo by Canucks GM Mike Gillis. He always considers himself the smartest guy in the room, but giving Luongo a deal through with a cap hit of $5.3 million through 2021-22 was ridiculous.
3. Jordan Staal, C, Pittsburgh: This guy would attract plenty of attention. He is the best third-line centre in the league.
The Penguins are going to have to clear cash if they’re going to keep this team together. That could mean moving out a player like Staal because Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin aren’t going anywhere.
4. Jonathan Bernier, G, Los Angeles: He could do just fine sitting behind Jonathan Quick.
If there’s anything this run to the Stanley Cup final has proven, Quick is the man with the Kings and Bernier, 23, is going to have to be happy playing the No. 2 role until a trade is made.
5. Tim Thomas, G, Boston: The Bruins have a huge headache on their hands with this guy.
Thomas, 38, has declared he has no plans to play next season. He says he wants to spend more time with family, but many believe he wants to make sure he controls his own destiny when his “no-move” clause expires July 1.
Up next for the Los Angeles Kings: First, a parade. Then, the pursuit of free agent Zach Parise come July 1.
These Kings have no intention of winning just one Stanley Cup. They want more. And they are not in any kind of salary cap conundrum, the way past winners have found themselves . They won’t have to dish off quality players – or any players really – the way the Chicago Blackhawks did after winning two years ago.
And while they won’t say so because they can’t legally say so, the captain of the New Jersey Devils is No. 1 on their off-season shopping list.
They want Parise, as do many teams, and they want him badly.
Parise fits perfectly into the Kings’ ultra-competitive philosophy, led by general manager Dean Lombardi and his able assistant, Ron Hextall. What they determined on their way to the Stanley Cup was what so many have known already. But until you witness it up close, experience it with your players – that fine line between success and failure often comes down to little more than effort.
And it’s not just effort. It’s a willingness to compete at a level beyond the norm. That willingness, when combined with superb goaltending by Jonathan Quick, terrific team altering leadership from coach Darryl Sutter, and all-world play from defenceman Drew Doughty, is why the Kings came out of the eighth seed and won 16 playoff games, losing just four, and now have an entire summer to celebrate.
In the post-game hysteria, Hextall, who was once the ultimate competitor himself, approached defenceman Rob Scuderi in the all the noise and spray of the Kings dressing room. He saw Scuderi, with a broken nose, a cut on his lip, a cut on his chin, is face looking like a work of abstract art, all from the game and series changing hit by Steve Bernier of the Devils and had to tell him rather loudly. “You’re the reason why we won the Stanley Cup.”
It was worth the wait.
After 45 long years, including two near-misses in the last week, the Los Angeles Kings have finally been crowned Stanley Cup champions. The party kicked off before the first period even ended Monday as Los Angeles romped to a 6-1 series-clinching victory over the stunned New Jersey Devils.
The game turned on a penalty that should immediately erase Marty McSorley’s 1993 illegal stick call as the most memorable in Kings history. Devils forward Steve Bernier was given a five-minute major for boarding just over 10 minutes into the game after bloodying Rob Scuderi with a hard hit from behind, and Los Angeles made him pay.
First captain Dustin Brown got a puck behind Martin Brodeur. Then Jeff Carter followed. By the time Trevor Lewis made it 3-0 at 15:01, the Staples Center crowd knew the Kings had all the goals they needed.
After all, Jonathan Quick didn’t allow more than that in any game during a dominant 16-4 run through this post-season. The Kings goaltender was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP for his dominant performance in the Kings’ goal.
Quick didn’t face a lot of shots in Game 6. His toughest task was staying composed as the score went up.
“As much as you keep pushing it out of your mind it’ll creep back in,” he said. “Especially you get that four-goal lead and it’s hard for it not to creep into your head a little bit. But you keep reminding yourself how dangerous of a team they are, and the second you become relaxed and get your mind off what you’re supposed to be doing that’s when they’ll take advantage of you.”