There were four conditions placed on the pick included in the July 8 trade, according to sources, and each of them involves Bernier’s new team playing for a championship in 2017. He would also have to start 50 per cent of the playoff games during that run, leaving Toronto with fairly long odds of recouping an asset in the deal.
The details of the conditional pick weren’t disclosed by either team when the transaction was completed. They are:
— If Bernier starts half of Anaheim’s playoff games next spring and the Ducks win the Stanley Cup, Toronto receives the Ducks’ 2017 second-round pick. (If Anaheim doesn’t still own that selection, it will transfer its next available second-rounder from a future year.)
— If Bernier starts half of Anaheim’s playoff games next spring and the Ducks lose in the Stanley Cup Final, Toronto receives the Ducks’ 2017 third-round pick. (If Anaheim doesn’t still own that selection, it will transfer its next available third-rounder from a future year.)
— Should Anaheim trade Bernier to a team that starts him in half of its playoff games next spring and wins the Stanley Cup, Toronto receives the Ducks’ second-round pick.
— Should Anaheim trade Bernier to a team that starts him in half of its playoff games next spring and loses in the Stanley Cup Final, Toronto receives the Ducks’ third-round pick.
If none of those things happen, the Leafs will receive no tangible return for Bernier beyond the useful cap space the move created.
Under the rules of the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, Anaheim assumes all of Bernier’s $4.15-million cap hit for 2016-17 even though Toronto paid him a $2-million bonus a week before dealing him away.
In many ways, the trade can be seen as an add-on to the June 20 deal that brought Frederik Andersen to Toronto. The Leafs sent the 30th overall pick in June’s draft plus a 2017 second-rounder to Anaheim for the Danish goaltender.
(Toronto currently owns three second-round picks next year — their own, plus one from Ottawa and one from San Jose. Whichever pick ends up being the middle of the three will be transferred to the Ducks in the Andersen deal.)
The low return on Bernier is representative of his up-and-down tenure in Toronto. He arrived with high expectations from the Los Angeles Kings in June 2013 for Ben Scrivens, Matt Frattin and a second-round pick, but struggled for big stretches of the last two seasons.
Should one of the conditions in the deal with Anaheim be met, an extra draft pick would represent a nice bonus for Toronto. The team is slated to surrender its third-round pick in each of the next two seasons as compensation for hiring Mike Babcock (Detroit, 2017) and Lou Lamoriello (New Jersey, 2018).