Leafs trade Jonathan Bernier to Anaheim for Conditional Pick

Photo Credit: Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY SPORTS

The Ducks giveth, and the Ducks taketh away. Just weeks after the Leafs acquired new starting goaltender Frederik Andersen from Anaheim, they’ve moved former starting goaltender Jonathan Bernier to the Orange County team in exchange for a conditional draft pick.

Some might wonder why Bernier wasn’t included in the original trade for Andersen, which occurred on June 20th. It’s very likely that the reason involves his contract. Bernier was due a $2,000,000 signing bonus on July 1st, and by waiting a couple of weeks, the Ducks get to take him on for half of his actual dollar cost. 

We had Anaheim on our list of teams that seemed to fit the bill most in relation to that salary tidbit, thanks to their abundance of cap space and lack of backup for Jonathan Gibson. The departures of Andersen and Anton Khuodobin left the team with a noticeable void, and now they have Bernier to fill it.

While Bernier struggled heavily in the first half of last season, he’s a slightly above league average goaltender by save percentage over the rest of his career. He was also a 0.920 goaltender in Calendar Year 2016, giving more reason to believe he’s due for a bounce back. However, with $5 million tied into Andersen’s contract, it didn’t make much sense to leave the Laval native in the balance.

There is no word yet on what the conditions of the deal are, but I’d have to imagine they’re based on games played and team success. As well, this leaves the Leafs with $3.56 million in pre-LTIR room to work with for the rest of the offseason, with contracts due to Peter Holland, Martin Marincin, Frank Corrado, Josh Leivo, Connor Carrick, and projected backup goaltender Garret Sparks.

Bernier, who turns 28 next month, was 59-68-17 in his 151 game career with the Leafs. He had a 0.915 save percentage and six shutouts.

  • Gary Empey

    I don’t think he got a fair deal in Toronto basically because he was a “french canadian” and Cherry always slammed him and talked greatly of Reimer. The Mandela quote was hilarious and I feel bad for poking fun of his ignorance but those were good times.

    At any rate I’m happy he is gone now. Hopefully we can move on from both Bernier and Reimer. And good to see Dubas continue to move out the old regimes players

  • silentbob

    bye bye Bernie, now you can get together with your old bedmate Carlyle….how funny is that…..

    I said he wasn’t a good fit here, but what do I know,,,,??

    Funny how the real Leafs Goaltender that really did anything for this team is now going to work beside the same guy they wanted to bring the first time to replace him but instead declined and here comes Bernie, now that Goaltender will not only have a great mentor it looks like he will have a starter job down the way………

    GOOD LUCK REIMS…..I WILL BE CHEERING YOU AND THE PANTHERS ON……………just to bad you wasted your young career here because it was no where deserving of you,,,,,,,,,,,

    • Gary Empey

      How can we ever forget the most important game the Leafs played the last decade when Reimer came completely apart at the seams, by letting in 3 goals in the closing minutes of a game seven?

      Panther’s are looking real good, for a Stanley Cup run. They better brace themselves if Reimer is in net. He folds up like a house made of cards in the big game, with everything on the line.

  • Gary Empey

    It sounds like we gave him up for nothing. I wonder what’s up with this ‘conditional pick’. Bernie doesn’t look that bad on paper – it’s strange how we lost a first round in exchange of two very similar goalies. This is a steal for Carlyle and Nonis.

    • Gary Empey

      That’s what it looks like. Lamoriello has been publicly looking to trade Bernier since the middle of last year. He has no confidence in him as a starter or a back-up. It is doubtful salary came into the equation. Back-ups today typically start a lot of games.

  • TGT23

    The first two seasons Bernier was here he posted a .918 SV% but that is ignored and forgotten because he sucked IN HALF OF THE REBUILD YEAR.

    Finished at .909 which is ironic because James Reimer’s SV% those first two years was .909 and he’s treated as though he’s a fantastic goalie and will be missed.

    Bernier was never embraced here. He was seen as the outsider stealing poor James’ thunder!

    He was the better goalie for two years and still got no respect. And now he’s gone. If Andersen is as good as Bernier was those first two years we’ll be lucky. .918 is no joke.

    Or maybe fans will hate him cause it means we didn’t resign Reimer or Scrivens.

    Good luck Bernier. Hopefully Anaheim will like you better than this lot.

    • Metal thrashin dad

      Well.. it’s not like we neeeed wins this season. Playing a weak backup against weak teams “competing” for our 1st round pick position isn’t all that bad of an idea if you want to game the system a bit…

          • silentbob

            Not really.

            They have their future #1 center, #1 D-man, they have a goalie for the next 5 years. They have a couple other high potential forwards…..the making of good core is here already.

            The fact that they went out and got a goalie instead of just playing Bernier is the evidence that they want to make the change from rebuilding to being competitive. I’m sure it will be hard for them to make the playoffs in Matthews and Marner (if he makes the team) rookie year, in Nylanders first full season etc… But this isn’t a team that will be playing for draft position.

          • Capt.Jay

            Nope, but it shouldn’t be confused for a team that is finished building or ready to contend either. We need a lot more pieces as we are closer to the bottom than we are the top.

  • Gary Empey

    After the Andersen trade, Mirtle detailed analytical work that went into targeting Andersen as the leaf’s goaltender of the future. The leafs are pouring billions and billions of dollars into an analytics department and are also grooming the most analytically-oriented young mind in hockey to take over as GM.

    The usual twitter crowd are talking about how Bernier is signed at a lower cost, less term and provides comparable goaltending to Andersen. These folks on their lotus123 spreadsheets running on a commodore 64 cannot compete with the SAP powered analytics software running on quantum super computers. Andersen represents another unearthed market inefficiency similar to Martin, Polak and Middleton and the overage ages at the draft. And further Andersen will provide very close be vezina quality goalie and will be hands downs superior to Bernier’s 2.2M salary (let alone his 4.5M cap hit).

  • Gary Empey

    thank god. let him reunite with the two clowns carlyle and nonis and be a back up. he’s not a #1 goalie. never has been and never will be. i’m glad he’s gone but the leafs sold low when he was going to bounce back. better off selling him at the deadline when he got his numbers up. bad decision but whatever.

  • Metal thrashin dad

    What effects wheather this trade is a win for the leafs or not, the value of the pick or what they do with the cap space? I’d say a little of both.

  • Gary Empey

    From day one in the adventure of Bernier being a leaf goalie, he was referred to as the answer. Why after a solid start in the fall of 2013 it was suggested by certain ink stained wretched scribes in the C.O.T.U. that young Bernier should be the third goalie for team Canada in the 2014 olympics. Never mind he hadn’t played a hundred N.H.L. games.

    To me he was never comfortable in the fish bowl of the big smoke. Throw in some wierd goals scored against him and his famous rendition of Gary Suitcase Smith wandering out of his crease and flopping on a puck 50 feet from the goal only to put the leafs short handed late in a game in Montreal.

    Asked about the bizarre play Bernier responded he was allowed to do it as a midget player. Got to wonder if he ever read the rule book.

    In reality he was just another walking dead of the goalie graveyard known as Toronto.

    • CMpuck

      bernier never read a history book so i doubt he ever read an nhl rule book. he didn’t even know who nelson mandela was at an event honouring him so how would he know a simple nhl rule.

      • TGT23

        Hey, did knowing who Nelson Mendela was make YOU more successful at life? Are you a better goalie than someone who doesn’t know? Is that how goaltending works? The more historical information you can remember the more successful you are in net?

        Or, did knowing that one person, just give you the right to be smug?