With the NHL Trade Deadline only a short few days away, teams have until the 12th April to complete their moves for any player they wish to bring in. However, one of the most interesting parts of the deadline is the sheer rush to get deals done for players, especially veterans, who can help out contenders to go and win the Stanley Cup. One name being heavily touted for a move on or before the 12th is Jonathan Bernier.
The goalkeeper from the Detroit Red Wings has been tipped by insiders to make an exit from his current team. With the Red Wings almost certainly assured of missing out on a playoff position this year, they might look to move on some of the larger contracts to make way for an eventual rebuild. The veteran Bernier is one of the best examples of a player who could be picked up on a good deal.
With plenty of unrestricted free agents set to get out of Detroit, Bernier might just be the most exciting and asset-worthy. Given the Red Wings spent heavily in the offseason bringing in short-term help via veterans, Bernier offers an opportunity for them to make something back on those expensive investments. Despite being injured at the moment, it is believed that he could be available for trade and pass a physical without issue – there will likely be a hungry market out there for a goalkeeper as good as Bernier.
Where could Jonathan Bernier end up?
There are numerous places that you could see the goalie arrive. With an impressive .918 in all situations for a save percentage, it is fair to say that Bernier has been a rare highlight in what has been an otherwise poor Red Wings team. Often playing in front of a poor defensive and a lackadaisical attack, it would be fair to say that Bernier isn’t exactly in a prime position to succeed in Detroit.
With a strong save percentage, the Red Wings actually have an 8-6 record when Bernier is in nets, showing he is a pretty solid all-around option. However, a record of only 4-15-4 when he isn’t there shows that, despite a mild decline in some cases, Bernier is by no mean the root of the problems that are so apparent in Detroit.
He’s an excellent goalkeeper and is in the final year of a three-year deal. So, he’s a pretty exciting pick-up for any team that might wish to improve their chances of success when the end of the regular season comes around.
The problem for Detroit is they will be expecting a contender like St. Louis or Toronto to give them a haul back in return – and they might struggle to get the assets they need. Given the historical low returns on a goalkeeper, it is therefore unlikely that Detroit will get the value they would have once hoped for when they acquired Bernier themselves.
Still, for someone, he is sure to be a difference maker – who knows? He could even swing the title to a different city. One thing is for sure, though – it won’t be Detroit.