The Los Angeles Kings have traded goaltender Jonathan Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Matt Frattin, goalie Ben Scrivens and the Leafs choice of a second round pick in 2014 or 2015.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: A good return for the Kings. Frattin, 25, is a speedy forward with a good shot who has the potential to become a good depth winger for the Kings. Scrivens is a solid backup for Jonathan Quick, and picking up an additional second round pick is a good throw-in.
Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis has significantly bolstered his goaltending depth, but I fear he’s now created a gaolie controversy which could become an unnecessary distraction next season. James Reimer played well this season as the Maple Leafs starter and was among the reasons the Leafs not only made the playoffs but pushed the Boston Bruins to seven games in the opening round of this year’s playoffs. Adding Bernier suggests Nonis lacks confidence in Reimer, which I’ve suspected since the Leafs GM tried to land Miikka Kiprusoff and Roberto Luongo prior to this year’s trade deadline.
If Bernier outplays Reimer, the latter could become a trade chip for Nonis perhaps by next year’s trade deadline. Maybe Nonis considers moving Reimer later this summer, allowing the Leafs to acquire an affordable backup for Bernier.
Given Reimer’s performance this season, I believe this move was unnecessary. Time will tell. For the Leafs sake, hopefully this deal works to their advantage.