Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/23/13 at 03:01 AM ET
The Toronto Sun's Steve Simmons spends a good portion of his Sunday notebook discussing the "Jonathan Bernier sweepstakes," and while you've probably heard about Bernier's suitors, Simmons offers a new perspective as to why the asking price for an unproven back-up goaltender is so very high:
There is a belief — and it starts in the front office of the Los Angeles Kings — that Bernier is a star waiting to happen, a goalie not far behind their starter, Jonathan Quick. They think that much of Bernier, and now that Luc Robitaille’s close friend, Pat Brisson, is representing the goalie, they have determined to make their team stronger by trading away their backup.
The Leafs, Wild, Islanders and Flyers are all said to be interested and the price may be heavy.
The Kings have targeted young stars or budding stars in their search: Jake Gardiner from Toronto; Brayden Schenn from Philadelphia; Charlie Coyle from Minnesota.
And two questions that have to be dealt with from teams interested: Is Bernier a franchise goaltender? And if so, how much do you pay to get him?
It’s unlikely the Leafs would move Gardiner for Bernier and the difficulty after that is finding the right match of young players the Kings would be interested in.
Philadelphia seems the most likely of destinations, considering the history between general managers Dean Lombardi and Paul Holmgren. But expect something done between now and next Sunday’s NHL Draft.
Simmons continues with the usual assortment of sports notes, including ponderings about the NHL's future in Seattle and...Prince Fielder's compensation?
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