Jonathan Bernier’s time with the Los Angeles Kings could be coming to an end.
The Kings are expected to move the goaltender in the near future, according to Hockey Central insider Nick Kypreos,
— Nick Kypreos (@RealKyper) June 18, 2013
The Kings have a decision to make on Bernier, who is scheduled to be a restricted free agent this summer.
The highly-touted Bernier is likely looking for an opportunity to start elsewhere as the Kings have all-star Jonathan Quick ahead of him on their depth chart.
The report comes a day after Bernier reportedly switched agents, signing on with Pat Brisson.
Kings G Jonathan Bernier is switching agents to Pat Brisson. Among Brisson's clients are Mark Streit, who just signed with Philly, and…
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) June 17, 2013
Kypreos mentioned the Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs as possible fits for Bernier.
The Flyers are certainly in the market for a starting goalie as they are expected to use one of their compliance buyouts on Ilya Bryzgalov, who has failed to live up to expectations with the club. He has seven years remaining on the nine-year, $51-million deal he signed as a free agent two years ago.
Philadelphia would clear out significant salary cap space if they decided to buy out Bryzgalov and forward Daniel Briere. They would be a logical trade partner with Los Angeles as the Flyers have depth up front and players that could help solve the Kings’ scoring woes.
Toronto, on the other hand, would be an interesting fit for Bernier.
The Leafs were pleased with the play of James Reimer this season and have stated they are comfortable with him as the No. 1 goalie moving forward.
On the other hand, Leafs GM Dave Nonis has said he would be willing to upgrade the position but it remains unclear whether the team would consider Bernier a better option than Reimer.
At the very least, the team may be interested in looking for someone who could compete with Reimer.
The Leafs were close to acquiring veteran Miikka Kiprusoff at the trade deadline this past March. However, the veteran refused to waive his no-trade clause from the Calgary Flames. Toronto was also said to be in deep talks with the Vancouver Canucks for Roberto Luongo.
Bernier, 24, was originally selected in the first round (No. 11 overall) by the Kings in the 2006 NHL Draft.
In 54 career starts, Bernier has a 29-20-0-6 record with a 2.36 goals-against average and .912 save percentage.