It is no secret that Jonathan Bernier’s time with the Kings could be coming to an end in the very near future. It has been reported by several different sources that the Kings may move him on or before the start of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft.
Bernier has been stuck behind Jonathan Quick for some time now and it is no secret that he wants to be a number one goalie somewhere. It was about a year ago when Bernier actually requested that the Kings trade him and it seems that the long wait could soon be over for the two parties.
There is one scenario that continues to surface and seems to get the most support from those monitoring the situation. The scenario includes the Philadelphia Flyers, it always seems to be the Flyers when it comes to the Kings and trades, and a swap for Matt Read in replace of Bernier. This situation would also include the Flyers buying out Ilya Bryzgalov, and continuing their musical chairs at the goalie position.
So, if this trade happens would it be the right choice for the Kings?
Lets get the obvious stuff out of the way, this will finally free Bernier from the shadows of Quick. He will finally get his shot at being a team’s number one guy, a shot he was not going to get here in Los Angeles as long as Quick is around. Bernier has been a good teammate and player for this organization, so this chance is much deserved.
Secondly, this will guarantee that the Kings will get something in return for Bernier. Bernier is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, then the offer sheet fiasco is set to begin. A team could offer up a deal where Bernier gets more money and the Kings would either have to match it or lose out on a valuable trading piece all together. If they trade him, they get something in return and don’t miss out.
Now, time to take a look at what the Kings would get back in Read.
Read currently has one year left on his entry level contract and would bring over a $900,000 cap hit with him. But he would also bring over 35 goals and 71 points through 121 games played in his first two seasons in the NHL. Read definitely has the making of a consistent top-six forward, he played right wing on the second line for the Flyers.
That could be the tough spot in all of this, he plays right wing, a position on the Kings’ roster that is pretty crowded. The Kings currently have Justin Williams, Jeff Carter, Dustin Brown and Tyler Toffoli on the right wing. Of course, things can change, and more than likely will, but I doubt any members of that group will be wearing another jersey next year.
If the Kings do grab Read, there will likely have to be some shuffling around, and depending on off-season roster changes that is either going to be an easy or hard thing. Now if spots don’t open up Read may have to explore playing on the left wing, a position where the Kings have little to no depth.
All in all I think this is a good move for the Kings. They win in every aspect of this deal. They give Bernier what he wants and get something in return while they still can. The Kings get an offensive threat in return in Read, that could fill some holes in the Kings’ line-up and with just one year left on Read’s contract they are not committed to him long term.
I say if this trade is available Dean Lombardi needs to pull the trigger. If you don’t agree, or think there is a better trade out there, make sure to sound off in the comment section below, or on Facebook or Twitter pages.