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Sunday, June 23, 2013

An Ice Life: Bernier to Toronto

Wild on Sports
An Ice Life: Bernier to Toronto
By Wild on Sports Analyst Brian Peirce

The Leafs have traded for goaltender Jonathan Bernier, giving up right-winger Matt Frattin, netminder Ben Scrivens and a second-round pick in either 2014 or 2015.

Bernier has been said to be the next great goaltender for what seems like a decade, but had Quick upstage him and has been living in his shadow waiting for a trade or his exclusive rights to end with the Kings. He is a RFA and will be looking for a raise. He will likely want a contract between 2-3 million dollars a year, and likely just two years or so in length. The Leafs said, basically, that they think he is better than Reimer is, and will likely suggest publicly that there will be a competition. Giving up two players to improve your back-up position doesn’t really happen; you can count on a competition that has Beriner strongly in front to start.

Now the Kings get a lot back. Most of all they get just 900k in savings on the cap from Ben Scrivens, who had a solid year himself. They likely will use him as a stopgap until young 23-year-old Martin Jones takes the job next year, or until 21-year-old Jean-Francois Berube takes the job four years from now. This was a cap saving feature, plain and simple. The Kings have many contracts they will want to renew in the next two years, and nowhere near the money with only about 6 million to use this year, and few expiring contracts of expendable players. I suspect they will use two of the compulsory buyouts to aid this, and if I were the Kings, Stoll and Mitchell would be the safe way to go. Unless they really want to be bold and get rid of one or two of the extremely long contracts to be safe, but I don’t see that happening.

Frattin burns up the cap savings in theory, but he could easily replace Stoll on the third line, though on the right side instead of in the center. He is a third-line, scoring type of player, and could for at least one-year chip in some goals while primarily playing defensively for the Kings. He is big enough and has a good shot.

TSN said this of Frattin:

Frattin is a 25-year-old winger with good speed, decent hands and an improving physical game. In 82 career games, he has 15 goals and 28 points and put up relatively solid possession stats for the Leafs last season.

A second rounder should make your team eventually, so the Kings have helped their farm system grow as well. All and all, the Leafs get a guy, that if he becomes the starter the Kings thought he would be, then they got him for a steal. If he doesn’t, then they paid a high price for a backup goaltender, but one that they can live with. I have to think this is a win-win type of trade.


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