Bernier was asking for $5.1 million in the form of a one year deal, with the Leafs countered with a one year deal worth $2.89 million.
“It was good to hear what both parties had to say as far as Jonathan and where the team was at,” general manager Lou Lamoriello said. “We were able to come up with a fair situation for both Jonathan and the team. He is a National Hockey League goalie. He doesn’t have to prove anything. He has the ability, there’s no question.”
The 26-year-old netminder was 21-28-7 in 58 games played last season, with a goals against average of 2.87 and a save percentage of .912. He had two shutouts.
In 175 career games with Toronto and the Los Angeles Kings, the Laval-born Bernier has 76 career wins and a save percentage of .916 with nine shutouts.
Toronto acquired Bernier from the Kings in 2013 in a trade for Ben Scrivens and Matt Frattin. He has top-notch reflexes and is a confident goalie, which is good news for a team in the midst of a rebuild. Bernier can get over bad goals, but there are some consistency issues that spread to the rest of the franchise. With some team stability, these issues should sort themselves out over time.
Toronto has seen a significant makeover in the off-season thus far, with new general manager Lamoriello one of many changes. They’ll also start the new season with Mike Babcock behind the bench and traded Phil Kessel to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
For Bernier, these changes add up to fresh opportunities.
“We need to turn the page,” he said. “I think the guys are excited to come back and guys are motivated with the new coaching staff…I want to be part of the Maple Leafs and this rebuild. I’m extremely excited for training camp with Mike and my new goalie coach [Steve Briere]. It should be a fun year.”