The Los Angeles Kings were rumored to be exploring trade possibilities involving talented young goaltender Jonathan Bernier. The Toronto Maple Leafs have frequently been mentioned as a team being in the market for a top-flight netminder.
On Sunday the paths of the two teams crossed, as the Maple Leafs acquired the rights to Bernier from the Kings in exchange for goaltender Ben Scrivens, forward Matt Frattin and a second-round pick in either the 2014 or 2015 NHL Draft.
Bernier, 24, is set to become a restricted free agent. A first-round pick by the Kings in the 2008 NHL Draft, he's been stuck behind 2012 Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick. Bernier played in 14 games this season, posting a 9-3-1 record with a 1.88 goals-against average and .922 save percentage.
"It's kind of bittersweet for us," Kings assistant general manager Ron Hextall said. "Jon's been with us a long time, he's been a great solider for us, he's been a very good player for us. Unfortunately, he's stuck behind Jonathan Quick, which is a tough situation for Jon. As a sense of fairness to him and the timing we felt was best for the organization, we made the move. We wish Jon the best and thank him for everything he's done for us."
In 62 career NHL games, Bernier is 29-20-6 with a 2.36 GAA and .912 save percentage, as well as six shutouts.
Bernier joins a goaltending tandem in Toronto that also features James Reimer, who helped the Maple Leafs end a nine-year postseason drought and make it to Game 7 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against the Boston Bruins.
Scrivens, his backup, was 7-9-0 with a 2.69 GAA and .915 save percentage this season.
Frattin posted seven goals and 13 points in 25 games. He has career totals of 15 goals and 28 points in 82 games.
"[Scrivens] was a backup there, he's got real good numbers, he's a talented guy, but I think the biggest thing about him is he's a battler," Hextall said. "He fights through, he works hard, he competes, and we feel that with Jonathan Quick he'll be a nice complement.
"Matt is a power forward. He's got speed, he's a real powerful body, he's got good hands, he can score goals. He's a gritty player, a playoff-type player."
Numerous teams around the League were rumored to be interested in Bernier, but Hextall said Toronto proved to be the best trading partner.
"This has been ongoing," he said. "Whenever you like the principal pieces of the deal -- we liked their pieces, they liked our piece. It's been ongoing for I want to say months."