Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonathan Bernier was offered a pay cut in arbitration and heard some things he would rather not in the hearing.
On Sunday, he wound up signing a two-year contract reportedly worth $8.3 million.
"There's obviously things they say that you don't want to hear, but at the same time I think you grow from those experiences," Bernier told the Maple Leafs website. "I won't be sour about it. I know it's part of the business."
The Maple Leafs reportedly offered Bernier the minimum they could, $2.89 million for one year, after he made $3.4 million last season. Bernier asked for $5.1 million. The sides agreed to the two-year contract before the arbitrator's ruling.
"They're trying to get the best deal possible, we're trying to do the same on our side," Bernier said. "I'm just happy right now that we found a deal for the terms that we wanted."
Bernier, 26, was 21-28-7 with a 2.87 goals-against average and a .912 save percentage in 58 games last season. He is 76-67-20 with a 2.63 GAA and .916 save percentage in seven seasons with the Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings. He was acquired from Los Angeles in 2013 in a trade for goalie Ben Scrivens and forward Matt Frattin, and is expected to enter this season as part of a goaltending tandem with James Reimer.
"Hopefully [Jonathan] has a year that pushes us, that is the organization, to speak to him next summer and looking for [a long-term contract]," Maple Leafs general manager Lou Lamoriello said. "Because the thought process is trying to get a goaltender, and hopefully it's Jonathan, to be the stabilizer for this franchise."
Bernier will play this season under new Toronto coach Mike Babcock.
"I want to be part of the Maple Leafs, especially the rebuild," Bernier said. "I think that's something amazing. I'm pretty sure they have a good plan and we're going to go in the right direction. I'm excited.
"Two years, it gives me a little bit of comfort and I don't have to think this year about re-signing next summer. I can just really focus on playing hockey and not have to worry about the following year."