One man’s trash is often another man’s treasure. With the Crazy Russian standing in goal for the Flyers, GM Paul Holmgren would be well-served to go digging.
Recent reports have indicated that the Philadelphia Flyers have made inquires about goalie Jonathan Bernier. At age 24, Bernier sits behind 2012 Stanley Cup Finals hero Jonathan Quick. Through five seasons, Bernier has posted a 91.2 save percentage, and boasts a strong average of 2.36 goals against per game.
Earlier Tuesday, Comcast Sportsnet’s Nick Kyperos sent out a tweet regarding the rumors, saying, “Keep hearing #Kings Bernier will be traded sooner than later. With poss’ Breeze buyout and Leiweke LA link, #Leafs#Flyers front-runners.”
Many speculate that the Flyers’ bevy of prospects would indeed be enough to land Bernier. With the likes of Read, Sean Couturier, and Scott Laughton, the Flyers possess a war chest of which to deal from. CSN Philly.com’s Tim Pannaccio reports:
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.
This contradicts the rumblings from TSN, who claim that the Flyers have already decided to buy out Bryzgalov, This is logical, considering their recent deal with Mark Streit puts them over the salary cap. The only means to cure this problem being a buyout of the crazy Russian, CSN Philly may be a late arrival to the party on this report.
A package of either Couturier or Read and a conditional draft pick will seal the deal. Many reports cite rumors that Holmgren offered forward Matt Read in exchange for the goaltender in April. The move collapsed on deadline day, but could rekindle this summer
Ultimately, a Bernier deal would be textbook to any General Manager. The move addresses a position of need, and improves the team as a whole. The trade is feasible, with money and commitment out of the question. The dreaded asking price is right up Broad Street for the Flyers’ budget. As rumors claim that L.A. will trade Bernier in a few weeks, the time to strike is now. Holmgren must construct a solid package to lock up Bernier before other teams have time to move.
The path back to the promise land becomes increasingly clear. With the recent addition of Mark Streit, Paul Holmgren can erase the debacle of last offseason. By securing a goalie for the future, Philadelphia will be blessed with solid goaltending for many years to come. With an opportunity knocking, the time is now.