- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: Kings GM Dean Lombardi on Jonathan Bernier.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all,” Lombardi told ESPN.com Friday. “We knew this guy. After the trade, he sent me a text to thank me for trading him. I replied back, ‘I just wish I could have been Glen Sather and had Moog and Fuhr but that is impossible today.’”
Lombardi knew he couldn’t keep both Bernier and Jonathan Quick, and promised Bernier a trade.
“What makes this tough is that it’s procedural, you have to move him, it’s not even a hockey deal, you’re looking for an asset deal.”
“You’ve got something that’s valuable that you have to move, but the market doesn’t recognize it,” Lombardi said.
“[Toronto GM] Dave Nonis was really the only one who was seriously interested in him. Everyone else was just tire-kicking. I was shocked at the lack of real interest. He had proven himself again last season. The other reason I think people overlook Bernier is because he is small; they overlook his hockey sense, which is his best asset.
“I give Nonis a lot of credit. A week after he got the [GM] job [in Toronto], he was all over Bernier.”
Lombardi said they almost traded Bernier to Toronto before the start of last season, but was nervous with Quick coming back off back surgery. Without Bernier last year, they wouldn’t make the playoffs.
- Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star: With the early play of Jonathan Bernier, the Leafs have two capable No. 1 goalies. Feschuk wonders:
It could mean the Maple Leafs explore a trade that includes James Reimer, since there’s no point in keeping around a perfectly deal-able No. 1-calibre talent when you’ve got holes in the lineup. There are plenty of teams looking for goaltenders and defencemen — heck, one will be at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night. Wouldn’t a package of Reimer and the still-not-extended Dion Phaneuf render a choice young asset from, say, the Oilers?
- Pierre LeBrun of ESPN: One Eastern Conference executive doesn’t think Devan Dubnyk can be a No. 1 goalie, and aside from Justin Schultz, their blueline has ”neither depth nor dimension.” LeBrun thinks that GM Craig MacTavish will wait 10 to 15 games before deciding if he needs to look for a goalie elsewhere or not. LeBrun thinks their bigger need is on the blueline and that MacTavish will look to add one or two by the trade deadline.
- Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: The Oilers are looking for third pairing Dman that brings some muscle and toughness. Penguins Deryk Engelland’s name keeps coming up in trade talk.
- Darrin Bauming: Scouting the Jets-Stars game: Blues, Flames, Oilers, Penguins and two from the Swedish National team.