When Jonathan Bernier wanders into the MasterCard Centre for the first time later this month he’ll be entering the great unknown. Outside of a brief tenure on a Team Canada world championship team when he met Dion Phaneuf and James Reimer Bernier really doesn’t know anybody on the Toronto Maple Leafs. That won’t stop him from trying to assert himself as the team’s No. 1 goalie — a position currently held by Reimer but one that seems destined for Bernier. “I’ve been waiting for that to get my chance” said Bernier traded to the Leafs in June for Matt Frattin Ben Scrivens and a conditional draft pick. The scouts have long salivated at Bernier’s abilities. He showed what he could do in his limited appearances with the Los Angeles Kings but admits to being frustrated at getting stuck behind Jonathan Quick. “It was very frustrating. That’s hockey” said Bernier. “When you get your chance you’ve got to take it. That’s what happened with Jonathan Quick. “He was there before me. Never really gave me a chance to prove what I could do. But he’s one of the best goalies in the NHL. It was hard for me after that to try to steal the job.” In Toronto the battle will be open. Reimer performed admirably in the role in 2013 bouncing back from an injury-filled 2011-12 campaign that brought a legion of doubters. Reimer has one year left on a deal at $1.8 million after which he will become a restricted free agent. Bernier just signed a two-year deal at $2.9 million per season so it’s easy to see who Leafs GM Dave Nonis is putting his money on.
Maple Leafs’ Bernier savours chance to battle Reimer to be No. 1 goalie
Toronto Star | Aug 3