Jonathan Bernier is swiftly going from Stanley Cup champion to the trading block. And it was his decision, reports Sportsnet affiliate TVA on Thursday.
Bernier, the backup to Conn Smythe Trophy winner Jonathan Quick, says he requested a move from the Kings prior to the NHL’s midseason trade deadline but was denied.
The Kings furthered their commitment to Quick, a 2012 Vezina candidate, this off-season, signing him to a 10-year contract extension.
The 23-year-old Bernier appeared in just 16 games in 2011-12. He went 5-6-2 with a 2.36 goals against average, a .909 save percentage and one shutout.
A first-round draft pick by the Kings in 2006, Bernier has one season left on his two-year, $2.5 million deal.
TVA reports that the native of Laval, Que., expects to be traded close to home near the beginning of training camp and that he wants to be a starter.
Recap: Bernier tells us he asked to be traded near the deadline, #Kings refused. He expects 2be traded close to home near training camp#NHL
— L.A. Lariviere (@L_A_theRiver) July 12, 2012
Among the teams interested in acquiring help in net are the Tampa Bay Lightning, Columbus Blue Jackets, Chicago Blackhawks, and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Leafs general manager Brian Burke, however, suggested that Toronto is not considering an offer for a goaltender with Bernier’s lack of experience. In three seasons with the Kings, Bernier has played a total of 48 games.
“Were not looking at that avenue,” Burke explained last week on Sportsnet 590 The Fan’s Prime Time Sports. “A couple goalies that moved are young unproven guys. That’s an avenue were not interested in. We’ve kicked the tires, looked at all the prices, but that’s not an avenue we’re looking at.”