Report: Two teams discussing trading for Bernier

We’ve been talking a lot about the Leafs’ situation in goal recently, as Bernier’s numbers have cratered to start the season, and the debate is ongoing about where the organization sits in terms of depth at the position as they look to the future. 

James Reimer has been incredible over the last month, so we need to see where that goes, but last week it was made known that Lamoriello and the front office have been looking at making changes in the crease, likely with the long term in mind. Now there are some rumblings of teams looking to take Bernier off their hands, which is a little surprising given how much he’s struggled.

Don’t get me wrong, Bernier is not THIS bad. He’s in a rough patch. But like Reimer in the past, this type of skid brings up a lot of questions about performing consistently. 

Here’s a snippet from a report by Chris Johnston at Sportsnet yesterday regarding Bernier:

His future is still somewhat uncertain — two rival NHL teams have recently had internal discussions about trying to acquire him via trade, according to league sources — but all Bernier is worried about is playing better.

Johnston is well-connected in NHL circles, so if he’s dropping this sort of knowledge, it’s definitely true. In fact I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if it leaked from the Leafs themselves.

The timing here is interesting though, as you’d think Bernier’s stock could not be lower. But perhaps that’s why teams are looking to cash in now – they want to buy low and believe he might bounce back to the level he’s played at in the past couple years, especially in 2013-14.

I’m not sure what we should expect in return if a deal like this was to go down. As mentioned, Bernier’s game could not be worse right now and his value is way down. He’s also on a 4.1-million dollar cap hit, though that shouldn’t sting anyone too much, as he’s off the books in 2017. The goalie market is also in a weird place, so we really shouldn’t expect more than a pick or something of that sort. The bigger question is whether the Leafs should look to move on, or, given how much Reimer and Bernier have flip-flopped over the last couple seasons, wait it out and see if things change hands again.

As for the teams kicking tires, that could be anyone’s guess. 

“Rivals” would suggest someone within the division, so perhaps the Sabres make sense. But beyond that there isn’t a whole lot of teams who seem primed to take on Bernier and two years of 4.1-million in cap room.

  • TGT23

    Unfortunately, I don’t think we can move him unless we have a goalie prospect coming back or a really valuable pick (1st? is that possible?).

    If we trade him and we bring up Bibeau…who backs up sparks. Plus, Bibs is only 21…seems rushed.

  • Javid

    Reimer has put up numbers that compare to Top 10 goalies. If they resign Reimer than I say trade Bernier. If they can’t, they gotta prevent going back to the Raycroft Toskola days.

  • Javid

    Ryan I got a big assignment for you. How about yourself or one of your comrades produces a comparative analogy of where the leafs stand in corsi, fenwick and other analytical stats after the first quarter of the year compared to last year. The leafs had 3 or 4 more points at this point last year and were a high scoring club.

    Although they were winning they were in most games last year badly out shot.

    Now this year Reimer is standing on his head and is facing 34 shots per game yet has a .949 percentage.

    I look forward to reading this wonderful comparative analogy between Carlyle’s first twenty games last year and Babcock’s start this year.

    We don’t know how long the leafs can keep this up. But we do know the leafs will play a gazillion games on the road in the second half as M.L.S.E. books the Air Canada center every night.

    One only has to look at the leafs cousins, the Raptors who have had an attrocious schedule for the November as they live on the road.

    Having said that, the fans are delighted to see performances like last night.

    But I think most leaf fans would love to see just how much improved this club is in the all important analytic areas. 34 shots per night sounds to me like there obviously has to be a lot more work. Or perhaps with a brilliant goalie like Carey Price well you just win because of your goal tender.

    Anyone out there notice the Habs have been basically a 500 team the last month with out Price.

    • Gary Empey

      What I think what I see happening in this new style has everyone responsible for their guy. They are playing one on one battles and to win you must beat your guy. Everyone is in position, really well. When the other team shoots, it is a shot from outside and the goalie can make those saves very easy. He just has to be square to the puck and be big. That is exactly what Reimer is. He is big and is square and will always stop the first shot. He is Outstanding at shootouts. Bernier is really bad he is small and doesn’t cover much net. Bernier rarely makes a save in shootouts. He makes the save if the shooter screws up only. Anyway so with the new style the team shoot outside the defence gets the rebound and clears it really fast. There is no 2n 3rd shot coming in anymore. Those 2nd 3rd 4th shots are what Reimer has trouble with. He is big and moves slowly. Once he misses and it bounces out front, he tries to lie down and make himself big and doesn’t move, hoping he has the puck. Or he is lying there flopping around like a dying fish. Bernier was there for that older style to jump up and make those saves. But this year this chaos in front of the net doesn’t happen because all the players collapse and force outside shots. The d is there to suck up rebounds. No fish flop. Just perfect first saves from a Reimer. He will shine in this style. Bernier has to go. He is too small. And I was a Bernier fan and Reimer hater. I had to jump wagons. He is better for this style. Beast in shootouts. Bernier cannot be as good in this style. This is the New hockey style. Reimer is a New Style goalie. (Big and square. Covers the net) Bernier is old style (Lightning fast) Carlyle was old style. Out with the old in with the new. Bernier looks like one of the puzzle piece right now.

    • TGT23

      Of course, to do that fairly you have to adjust for the difference in talent. This club not being as talented as last year’s team.

      I mean, if you’re going to do this you have to be fair about it.

  • CMpuck

    Yes! Trade with the Sabres… And Bruins because Sweeney has taken the piss. But other than that, if we can’t get a little over a 3rd rd pick’s worth, it’s worth waiting IMO

  • Career adjusted Save%:

    Reimer, 92.44
    Bernier, 92.27

    While Reimer is riding the hot hand at the moment, it’s important to remember that over the large sample sizes, both goalies are basically even in terms of talent. We need to be patient and see where this goes before making any deals.

  • Gary Empey

    Most teams need to have 2 good NHL ready goalies dressed for every game. If Bernier is traded, do we have someone ready to take his place? In last nights beautiful win, Reimer got smashed in the ankle. If it was a little more serious Bernier would of been back in the net. Who knows just how sore it is today?

    • magesticRAGE

      When Bernier leaves, another goalie will be coming back. He’ll probably be damaged goods and on his last year or a third of the cap hit. May could also grab a 4th as well.
      They need to get something for Bernier, but also buy time for the kids.

  • magesticRAGE

    I don’t really think it would hurt to bring up Babeau as a backup.He could get experience by being with he big club have better constant coaching and play the odd game to get used to the speed etc.,with the intention of using him as number 1 in the future.
    This way they could trade Bernier and get more space in the salary cap if needed at the trade deadline or sooner if a player they like comes available.They used to do it in the old days and some teams still do it with players from time to time.

  • Gary Empey

    Honestly Bernir doesn’t have the mental state nor the personality to thrive here in Toronto,,,,,he’s had 2 + seasons to prove his worth and especially last year and this…………
    Reimer has proven he has what it takes to thrive here in Toronto,,,and has worked hard this year to improve…what he has done is show all the des=beleivers he van improve and pick up the ball and run with it….the team loves having them in the back and they have come to be a team to reckon with….