Source: Kings contact Flyers about goalie Bernier

Source: Kings contact Flyers about goalie Bernier

June 18, 2013, 12:15 pm
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In 62 games played in the NHL, Jonathan Bernier has a 2.36 goals-against average. (USA Today Images)

The Flyers are one of what has grown to an even dozen clubs contacted by Los Angeles general manager Dean Lombardi about interest in goalie Jonathan Bernier, according to a Kings’ source.
 
That said, the Kings have not been given the impression the Flyers are fully committed yet to making a switch in goal with Ilya Bryzgalov.
 
The source said Lombardi is doing his due diligence in trying to move the 24-year-old Bernier, who will be a restricted free agent this summer.
 
“Basically, we’re running an auction,” the source said.
 
Perhaps an expensive one, too.
 
There has been on-going debate within the Flyers as to whether to hand Bryzgalov a “compliance buyout” once the period for such begins 48 hours after the completion of the Stanley Cup Final.  
 
The Flyers are facing some obstacles. They haven’t been able to get a deal in place for another goalie – one they really like - so they can make a final decision on Bryzgalov. Also, they have “tagging” issues for next season.
 
They can’t add a salaried contract onto their payroll for next season until they become cap compliant.
 
This is why the Flyers can’t allow Mark Streit to “officially” sign the four-year, $21 million contract they offered him Monday.
 
All they can do is get an agreement in place, without formally acknowledging it.
 
Given the number of Bernier suitors, Lombardi should get maximum value in return for a young goalie many consider capable of being a No. 1 starter.
 
The price will likely be pushed higher than what the Flyers might offer, say Matt Read, who will become an unrestricted free agent next summer. The Kings are looking for help on the wing.
 
Phoenix's Mike Smith (31) is the best unrestricted free-agent goalie this summer.
 
The Kings want to move Bernier because of salary cap considerations and his desire to be a No. 1. Los Angeles has a number of its own players to re-sign, including Dustin Penner, which is going to impact their cap which is already $52.5 million for next season, according to CapGeek.com. The cap will go down from $70.2 million to $64.3 million.
 
Hands down, Bernier is the best young goalie any club can get their hands on this summer.  In 62 lifetime NHL games, he has a 2.36 goals against average and .932 save percentage.
 
The league GMs meet Wednesday in Boston, but the chances of Lombardi getting together is very tight given their meeting schedule.
 
The real push on trades such as this comes at the draft when clubs have several days leading into it to sit down and talk.
 
That’s when this year's compliant buyouts have to be rendered, as well.
 
And when the Flyers will be forced to make a decision on Bryzgalov.

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