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Bernier arrives, and just for conversation sake, what would you give up for the Leafs to move up into the Top 4 in the draft next weekend?

When Brian Burke was in charge of the blue and white, it was not uncommon to hear him state publicly that he was looking to “move up” in the annual entry draft.  (The Tavares draft being a prime example, as I recall.) 

Such bold proclamations are not really Dave Nonis’ style, though that doesn’t necessarily mean he is not disposed to making a significant move if he felt it would improve the hockey club. Who knows what he is really thinking?  We have his history as a GM in Vancouver to go by, I suppose, but I'm not sure that means we necessarily understand his current "blueprint" for the Maple Leafs.

I’m also not sure we have really seen Nonis place his personal stamp on this hockey club just yet.  In fairness, he was no doubt caught off guard by his sudden promotion this past January, after Burke was fired.  He made some important decisions on his own (Connolly, Lombardi, McLaren, Steckel) but by and large steered the ship quietly and seemingly effectively—though his desire to bring in either Luongo or Kiprussof at the deadline seemed to me to questionable (and somewhat ‘off-plan’).

As I write this (literally) comes confirmation that the Leafs have indeed traded for Jonathan Bernier, the topic of my most recent post here.  He will either replace Reimer (if Reimer is tradedor relegate him to a back-up position.  So maybe this is the beginning of the 'personal stamp' I was just referring to.

With his first major Leaf trade now in the books, here is another question that will no doubt be raised this week with the NHL entry draft only days away: would/will Nonis look to move up in the draft? (Could Reimer now be part of such an equation?)

I have no idea what his thinking process is.  I don’t really trust the quotes I see and hear from him, because, after all, GM’s are not in the business of telegraphing what they are actually going to do.  In fact, as Joe Sakic did in Colorado a few days ago (when he suggested the Avs would likely take a forward with the first overall pick, not Seth Jones) it’s generally the case that the GM’s are playing the media, and sending a message out there to rival GM’s to try and create a feeding frenzy.  Burke did this all the time, either publicly or privately.  It was quite transparent.

Hey, it may well be that Nonis is satisfied with his reasonably well (we still tend to over-rate our prospects—lots of teams have nice players in their system, we’re hardly alone…) stocked pipeline, filled with Marlies and promising juniors.  He may be quite happy to keep building patiently, slowly- and take no risks.

But if nothing else, from a fan perspective, there is not much fun in watching paint dry, as nice as the room may look when the project is over.  Fans tend to like action, activity, decisions that move the needle and shake things up a bit.

After all, is there any guarantee that our one-year visit to the playoffs (after almost a decade without a playoff berth) will lead to us becoming yearly contenders?  Might we be this year’s Florida Panthers?

With that in mind, my question for you today is not something I am recommending that the Maple Leafs do, but more of an open-ended thought for discussion.  If you were in Nonis’ shoes—knowing the roster needs, knowing where you sit in the draft, and also knowing just how talented the first few youngsters in the draft are—would you consider making a deal to move up into the upper echelon of selectors?

Maybe more to the point, would you aim to somehow get into the ‘top four’, where the cream seems (it always is, eh) to be in this draft? 

Everyone knows about Jones, the promising young defenseman. And of course there are those three forwards who are all projected to be outstanding NHL’ers—perhaps most notably MacKinnon and Drouin, though other observers have far deeper knowledge of this “class” than I do. I don't follow the junior players as I once did.

For you, would such a move even make sense for the Leafs?  Would it maybe upset the promise this team is displaying?  Or would it be precisely the kind of bold move that, within the next two seasons, might just catapult the Maple Leafs into the land of the truly elite—and maybe even over the top in the Eastern Conference?

Would you even consider this kind of radical move?  And if so, what would you be willing to give up to move into, say, the top three?  And remember, as you know, this can’t be one of the usual Leaf fan discussions where we offer a team our third-line center and a second round pick and think that will appeal to a team that is looking to draft MacKinnon.  The price would be huge with a capital "H". (And of course, the teams who now hold the picks in question have to at least be open to talking about a deal...)

It’s always intriguing to think about acquiring a potential superstar.  The Leafs haven’t really had one in ages, since Mats Sundin (right), really.  And despite his fine career, many Leaf fans still believe he was a bit short of being a legitimate superstar.  (I don't consider Kessel in that class.  Exciting player, for sure, but a superstar?) 

Bottom line, I’m not even sure it is a realistic discussion, but that’s why I said at the top today that this is for conversation sake, as we await the draft.

Let me know what you think...


Some Leaf supporters may feel Toronto gave up too much (Matt Frattin, Scrivens and a second-rounder) to acquire Bernier .  I'm not so sure.  They didn't have to give up anyone with true superstar potential, like Jake Gardiner.  I've said here before that Frattin could become a mini power-forward at the NHL level and I still feel that way.  He could be a nice player for the Kings. Second-round draft choices, while important, sure, are pretty much a dime a dozen.  (That's often the currency, for example, when a playoff contender trades to get a guy at the deadline. Teams are always willing to give up a second-rounder...) Scrivens is a gutsy goaltender, though I have no idea if he has a higher ceiling than he demonstrated in Toronto.

I actually thought the Kings might be able to get more for Bernier elsewhere.  Other teams have a more urgent need in goal, I thought.  Yet Bernier ends up here.

I guess the question here is:  with Bernier coming in to be the number-one guy (I have no doubt about that), do the Leafs keep Reimer as the back-up?  Does he get dealt to help the team get better elsewhere?

Do you like the deal for Bernier?  Are you happy that he is the new number-one?  Or do you believe it will be a (supposed?)'competition' for the job at training camp.

I'll say this: nothing has ever been handed to Reimer. The guy has to keep proving himself.  I wonder if he will ultimately be happier somewhere where he will be appreciated...


  1. I don't really like the deal for several reasons:

    How much better will Scrivens look behind L.A.'s defense?

    Conversely, will Bernier's play drop off in Toronto?

    If you look at their AHL numbers Bernier and Scrivens are actually quite similar.

    I am also concerned that they are changing too much on what was a successful team poised for more future success. I am reminded of Calgary's 2004 run. A few guys like Gelinas and Commodore don't return and the team is never quite the same.

    What could make this palatable can be found in the rumors: Perhaps you can trade Frattin if you think Clarkson is coming and you can re-sign MacArthur? There are continued rumors that Clarkson wants to go to TO.

  2. "Activity" is always of interest to fans, eh, DP- I'm with you, I wonder a bit about this deal. The Clarkson talk is out there, but I do wonder if the Leafs have any more of an "in" than any number of other organizations.

    This may be an interesting couple of weeks!

  3. Reimer did give up too many rebounds against the Bruins and a few soft goals as well. They also keep saying he has a weak glove hand. My guess is Nonis is worried about a repeat in the playoffs next season where one rebound can cost a series. I always liked Reimer but thought he was great some games and shaky others but he was clearly better this season than the previous injury filled one. If he fixes the rebounds and improves the glove he could be a star. I don't know too much about Bernier but when a goalie is picked 11th overall there has to be a reason so my guess would be he will be a genuine #1 goalie and a lot better than a Luongo at age 34. I don't think they gave up too much, you always have to give up something and players like Colborne and Ashton have to be a chance as well. If Bernier turns into a superstar - and Pierre LeBrun on ESPN was just saying he very well could become one then this deal is a no-brainer.

    1. Most any team would love to acquire a promising young netminder, Alton, agreed. LeBrun's 'projection' (superstar) has been used to describe many such young players who have immense potential. Few actually achieve that lofty status.

      If Bernier becomes a legitimate star, then of course the price will, looking back, seem modest indeed. And yes, the Leafs would/will be a lot better in goal.

      But while he is an intriguing young goalie, there is not much history at this level to tell us what the future might look like for him.

      That said, that's why GM's earn their money- Nonis has made a bold move to try and get better in goal. We'll see....

    2. LeBrun's actual interview with King's goalie coach Ranford goes even farther. Ranford says that trading Bernier was a tough pill to swallow for Lombardi and all of the King's front office as they feel they’re trading away a future star, franchise goalie but they had to because of the cap.

      My take is LeBrun saying Bernier is a potential superstar is encouraging but doesn't have quite as much weight as Ranford saying the Kings believe they traded away a star franchise goalie.

    3. Thanks Alton- my only thought is this: if what Ranford is saying is true, it's insane to trade away a future "franchise" goalie for as little as they did simply because of the cap. If that's the issue, then deal away other roster pieces, not a future superstar.

      If he really is a high-level number-one, why did teams desperate for goaltending not make a bit to pick up a relatively low-cost (salary-wise) goaltender?

      For me there is still some hyperbole in all this. We'll see....

  4. I guess what I'm struggling with here is our sense of prioritisation. Perhaps, as Alton has mentioned above, there are facets to Reimer's game that require work but I don't see how that translates into our management suddenly feeling the need to replace him or even juice up his back up. In fact, many of the critiques of Reimer's technique I've heard mentioned since this news broke are exactly the same things being said about Cory Crawford and you can be damn sure that Chicago doesn't have "Buy a new goalie" anywhere near the top of its To Do list because of it.

    Yet it seems, to my untutored eye, that our Leafs have other urgent needs that I would hope our boffins were spending significant time on addressing. But now we have spent two of our most tradeable assets in Frattin and Scrivens to questionable result. And it is questionable, both by virtue of the debate already raging and by Bernier's talent being unproven at NHL level.

    I guess there's always the old trusty "You can never have too much good goaltending" but it didn't seem to help Vancouver too much this year, did it?

    I wasn't convinced by Reimer at the beginning of last season as you may well recall, Michael, but I'm not too proud to say he sold me this year and certainly gave me sufficient confidence that I believe we have more pressing roster issues to address.

    1. I recall your earlier views on Reimer, KiwiLeaf, and you were not alone. As you note, Reimer demonstrated something to a lot of doubters this past season. Can he get better? Like all goalies, yes, he can. (I like your Crawford example...)

      Is he fully "proven"? I guess not, but the Leafs seemingly couldn't take "yes" for an answer (meaning Reimer, in my mind, answered questions by his generally stellar play), as I like to say, so they have decided to look elsewhere.

      Unless I'm missing something I don't see this as a competition. Bernier is the guy in goal.

      This has now become a Nonis trait: he does not believe in Reimer, clearly. He was interested in Luongo and tried to talk Kiprusoff into coming to Troonto.

      Now, he has Bernier.

      Reimer clearly has to go at some point. I can't foresee why he would want to stay and be a back-up, as competitive as he is. But maybe I'm off base. Thanks KiwiLeaf...

  5. I like the trade, Bernier in my opinion is a better goaltender than Reimer. Reimer is not great in controlling rebounds, and his glove hand is suspect, at times he almost seems to be robot like in his movements. Bernier is much more fluid in his moves and has a much better glove hand. Five years from now Reimer will be what he is now, I think Bernier has the potential to be a superstar goaltender, and will be one of the top three goalies in the NHL.

    Did Reimer get his team into the playoffs and did he take them to overtime in a game seven? Yes he did, but, does he have the talent to be like Rask and backstop his team to the final two teams in the playoffs? My answer to that question, is no he does not. I believe Bernier has that ability.

    1. Your comments stand on their own, mrj. You're a Bernier believer. Thanks for chiming in....

  6. I don't like this trade Michael although I think there is more coming and if so we will have to wait to see how it all unfolds. Just read a Bob Mckenzie statement that Phaneuf is in play, wow if he and Reims are traded they are not tweaking but doing a complete retool!

    1. I'll say this, purch: if Nonis really is thinking about moving Phaneuf, he will indeed be putting a very personal stamp on this team...are dominoes beginning to fall? Could the Leafs be poised to move up big time in the draft?

  7. In a vacuum I don't mind the trade. What the Leafs gave up in the end really isn't a whole lot. Frattin is a top 9 winger a good depth third liner. I don't think he will ever be more than he is right now. Scrivens is in the same boat. A decent slightly above average back up but I don't see him becoming much better. A second round pick is a lottery ticket.

    However, this trade isn't made in a vacuum. The Leaf's problems are not in net they are in defense and center. I'm not sure what this trade really accomplishes.

    Starting to hear rumblings now from the TSN boys (who are fairly reputable as media figures go) that Phanuef is in play. I wonder if Phaneuf and Reimer are being packaged to the Oilers for the number 7 overall and one of the big Oiler youngsters? I don't really know but I'm really not sure where the Leafs are heading this summer. Worse I'm not overly confident about what they might be thinking either.

    I have been a big fan of Nonis since he replaced Burke but this trade is curious at best to me. They used assets they could have used to fill their obvious needs to address an area of strength. If the rumors are true and Phaneuf is on the market who is going to replace the best d man they currently have? Curious thought process indeed at Maple Leaf HQ.

    1. As you correctly note, the Leafs have bigger issues than netminding. So we can (safely?) assume this is the beginning of more roster turnover, Willbur. Whether the Phaneuf speculation is valid, I have no idea. But I have to believe something is up.

      Trying to figure what a GM is thinking is tough. And they no doubt like it that way...

    2. Well I think your right Michael. There is no way that Bernier is coming here to be back up. The leafs gave up roster players for him ate salary for him and are likely going to have to pay him more than they do Reimer.

      To me Reimer has to go now and that is a shame. I think his over all numbers are better (that's a fact they are) and he has shown he can handle the spotlight and media here in Toronto. After all he has done the Leafs still don't believe in this guy. Its time from both parties prospective to part ways. I have always been a big Reimer guy and I think the Leafs are making a big mistake but here's hoping Nonis is going to prove why he makes the big bucks and I pound a keyboard at home.

      PS to bad Reimer is such a genuinely nice guy because if I was him I would have be on the phone to Nonis about 1 minute after the trade was made public asking for a ticket out of town. After all Reimer has done for this trade to be Nonis first big one speaks volumes about how much value he puts on Reimer. This has got to be hard on Reimer. Not a good move in my opinion.

    3. I hear you loud and clear, Willbur. We see this one much the same way.

      I can't even imagine how gutted what must feel Surely no one believes he should just play the "I'm a team guy..." card? He has been jilted (again), full stop. And he bailed this team out this past season.

      I know I sound like a Reimer apologist. I've never suggested he was the reincarnation of Terry Sawchuk. But this sure is a cold business, eh?

      If Bernie becomes what some think he can be, then of course Nonis will be proven "right".

      But the next time Nonis or anyone from the Leaf front office talks about finding a player with character, class or who can handle playing in Toronto, we won't have to look hard to see that they must have other measuring sticks, too. They already had that in Reimer. Thanks Willbur.

  8. "I hear you loud and clear, Willbur. We see this one much the same way."

    That's because we're both intelligent, rational (and probably good looking as well) people

    1. Well, we won't quibble over rational and intelligent, but on the "good looking" thing, absolutely!

  9. Michael,

    I am like many others, unsure of the rationale behind this move. We gave up assets to get something that really isn't that much of an upgrade, in my opinion. A backup goalie will play what, 20 times during the regular season and zero playoff games? Can't see Bernier being that much better than Scrivens over a small sample size. So why give stuff up to get so little improvement?

    What if its Bernier that gets flipped here? He isn't under contract long term, and maybe LA wouldn't trade him to a team in the West, where Toronto isn't under that restriction. Just a thought, but, having two chips to play in the trade market is better than one. Otherwise, this makes little sense to me, unless no one in the organization has any faith in Reimer. Which would be a shame, he's battled so hard for this team, and city.

    1. I could be way off on this one, Jim, but I see Bernier coming in as the clear number-one, regardless of what may be said in public between now and training camp. (It's a moot point, of course, if Reimer is traded..)

      As I said above, I would have thought that, if Bernier is so highly-prized, some other team would actually have given more. I can't imagine the guy wants to come here to be a back-up, or that Nonis would in fact give up three assets for a "back up" - and just to replace the guy who was part of the package that went the other way.

      It has to be Bernier's job, and Reimer's leaving town....

    2. I wondered this too, Jim, but wouldn't they have tried to retain Scrivens if one of Reimer or Bernier is to be packaged up and shipped straight away?

    3. That in a nutshell is where I am on this. I have no idea why Nonis gets Bernier. An experienced playoff winning goaltender, sure. But another young guy with at least as many questions as Reimer, nope. I can't figure out how you could be sold on Bernier with the amount of games he has played, and not be satisfied with Reimer. Considering that they have very similar overall numbers, minus games played.

      Nonis said in a comment today that he expects both guys to compete for the starters job. That in my opinion, is quite a slap in the face to Reimer after all he did last year.

      This move has me as baffled as paying Orr a million bucks a year to punch the other team in the face for 6 minutes a game. No clue what the big picture is. I would tend to side with Michael, Reimer is destined for parts unknown. Unless Bernier is part of a bigger trade.

    4. I think that what we see here is that Nonis doesn't think Reimer is his guy. Remember, that Reimer is Burke's guy and I don't think Nonis is really sold on him at the end of the day.

      I don't mind the trade at all after really think about the rationale behind it. At the end of the day, I think, it actually is a good move given the state of the Leaf's complete organization (development in Biggs, etc and possible trades and UFA signings - has lots of wingers). If Bernier developed to what many considered to be a true number one than it is a true win. What we know is that he can't be worst than scrivens so losing Frattin and a second for a great potential return is worth the risk considering Frattin is replaceable

  10. Initially, I didn't like the trade but after some thoughts, I think it was a good one for the leafs. Even though Frattin is someone I think would eventually be a very good player, the potential of Benier is no doubt much higher than the pieces that went to LA. I think we have to look at the totality of the organizational needs, availability and development rather than the trade alone. Irrelevant of whether Bernier is no.1 (which I don't buy in Nonis' assertion that he is not), the Leaf's goal-tending is much much more solid with a potential to be elite.

    In Frattin, we have to look at what's coming up and what's can be available via UFA or trades, so the lost is not that difficult to absorb. What we have to evaluate is the current slot that Frattin would fit into the Leafs line up is at best currently top 9 forward which when we look at it, is replaceable.

    So if you look at the trade, what you essentially gave up was a top 9 forward that can be replaced and a second for someone with potential to be elite given that Bernier can't be any worst than Scrivens.

    1. Thanks for visiting, Lukas-

      For me, the issue is not that Bernier is not a good young goalie. I'm sure he is. But while a team needs two goaltenders, it rarely works to have two young guys who both want to be number-one.

      There is no way, as I said above, Nonis gave up any assets at all, as replaceable as they are, for a guy just to replace the back-up goalie traded for him in the same deal. We should make no mistake, Bernier is here to play, whatever spin Nonis wants to try and put on this.

      That's fine. It's just a slap at Reimer, no matter how you look at it. So I think he's gone....

    2. I know you're a big Reimer backer and I think he has done more than what is expected of him but let's not kid ourselves that his feelings matter when it comes down to it.

      We have to remember that Reimer is not really someone that Nonis supported from the outset. He was a Burke's guy and someone that was thrust upon him and unlike Burkes' often emotional based decisions, Nonis is much more methodical and calculating from what I can see. I think you're absolutely right that Reimer is most likely done but so are others that are much more prominent to be done. Nonis I think is just starting.

    3. GM's always look to upgrade and clearly Nonis believes this is an upgrade in goal.

      I well recognize there is no sentiment in sports, and Leaf fans would rather win than lose with nice guys.

      I just happen to think Reimer is a winner.

      We'll see years down the road how Bernier plays a) in Toronto b) behind this defence...

  11. bernier... you anticipated this move michael... hopefully he's a harbinger of future success. cheers!

  12. Time will tell, Alex- thanks for posting....

  13. I'm not surprised Nonis wanted to upgrade in goal, and yes Bernier is a decent upgrade (i.e in having a 1A and 1B). What bothers me more is the price. Two roster players, a 2nd round pick and $500K is steep for a goalie who just provides more depth in goal. Might he be a future star in goal, who knows. If not the price was too high.

    I know many see this as a slap in the face to Reimer, and feel that Nonis must no longer believe Reimer is the team's future #1G. Its hard to argue with that reaction/conclusion. I don't think that is a forgone conclusion though.

    If I'm the GM of the Leafs, I like what I've seen in Reimer, and when he's healthy he is a very good #1 goalie. The key is when he is healthy. Scrivens is an okay backup, but would you want to rest your team's future on him should Reimer go down for a lengthy period, or during a key stretch (e.g. a playoff run)? For that reason alone, this upgrade makes sense.

    But is it wise to have two young goalies battle it out for the #1 job?? It is not an ideal situation as we know, BUT in the short-term it can work, and will probably lead to a better overall result. Here's why...

    1) Healthy competition (hopefully).
    Assuming both goalies push their abilities and work hard, Reimer can hopefully validate himself as the #1 guy. To do that he'll need to stay physically healthy for a full season and show that he can carry a #1 goalie's workload (60+ games). Bernier, will try hard to prove he is equal or better to the task. All Bernier wants is a chance to prove he can be a #1 guy. Carlyle will likely go with whoever is hot.

    2) Contracts
    It is quite likely Bernier signs a 2-year deal with the Leafs, maybe 3 years max (in order to retain him as an RFA). Reimer has just one more year on his contract, and if he has a great year the Leafs will likely reward him with a hugh pay increase and a long-term deal. Bernier on the other hand can hopefully prove he is ready for a number one job, either here or to another team. His value will hopefully continue to rise (e.g. Cory Scheider).

    3) Youth
    Both these goalies have bright futures, and are relatively young. Assumimg both play well, one of them will be signed on as the Leafs franchise goalie, and the other will be a sought-after proven netminder (i.e an asset to the Leafs in a trade).

    An upgrade in goal was not a high priority for the Leafs, and Nonis still has much work to be done (e.g. a top center and top 4 D-man). The next two weeks should prove interesting.

    1. It's certainly a trade that will be cannon fodder for debate in Leafworld, Don (TML_fan). Some will love it, because they believe, as you do, that Bernier is a definite upgrade in goal.

      He may be. If he is, then to me, the price will not be an issue. If he becomes a true All-Star, will we really miss a back-up goalie, a third-line winger and a draft choice who may never play in the league?

      I respect your view, as always. I just don't believe the theory that these guys will "compete" for the job. Nonis is saying for all the world to hear that Bernier is his goalie (despite what he says publicly). You don't trade three assets for a back-up.

      The question is what to do with Reimer, who has, in my view, done everything he could to earn the job in goal in Toronto behind a mediocre team. He is a "team" guy but every athlete I have ever worked with over the years wants to play. Reimer will be no different.

      Other priorities indeed, Don. So the summer will be something to see, it would appear...

  14. To answer your original question, I would trade Bernier for a top 3 pick. I don't see any reason to believe he's an improvement over Reimer, but if other teams want to get emotional about the fact he was once a high pick then we should take advantage of it.

    No disrespect to Bernier, he seems to have a good chance of being a great goalie one day. But Reimer has already shown that he WILL be a great goalie one day, if he's not there already.

    1. Thanks Oliver- I think you're the first poster to respond to my initial question today. The 'trading up" issue has been relegated to the bench because of the Bernier deal. As you indicate, let's see if this move in some way leads to another...

  15. Nonis is "building from the net out" just like he did in Vancouver when he resolved the goalie situation there by acquiring Roberto Luongo there who, despite getting wrapped up in a stupid contract (that Gillis gave him), remains one of the top goalies in the league. Bernier is probably, along with Rask and Quick who earned themselves starting roles and are thus unavailable for trade, a top goalie on the market, and we now have him in exchange for a back-up, a promising winger, and a likely low 2nd round draft pick.

    I think this is a good trade for both teams. I really like Frattin and I think he'll turn out to be a top six forward on an offensively-challenged LA Kings while Scrivens, who I was never high on, is an ok back-up behind a proven No. 1. I don't really care for a 2nd rounder - we can easily recover that pick by trading one of our goons or another otherwise not-so-important player.

    Whikle I do se how the Reimer faithful would be a little offended by this move I really don't think this means he is being pushed out. I think Nonis really does intend to let him and Bernier fight it out in net for the starter position and then, depending on how this turns out, sign one to a nice long contract and trade the other or sign him to a back-up role. There's nothing wrong with that - it's a fair deeal - they are both young, they are both unproven, they have both shown serious potential - let the best man win. Worse case scenario - neither of them delivers and we're back to sqare one but at least we didn't sell the farm or lock outselves in a long-term ridiculous contract.

    I'm gonna miss Frattin - I think he has quite the potential - but I'm glad it wasn't Gardiner or Kadri who I'm sure were mentioned by the Kings side of the table in thses negotiations.

    As as I keep saying here - I don't thing injuries are always accidents and I think the fact that certain players are prone to them may have something to do with their style of play. In particular, Frattin's flying into the goal-post last year in the Calder Cup finals and Reimer's being far out of the net with his head on offer for Gionta to target could have been avoided.

    If someone wants to take Phaneuf and Lupul for the top 3 pick in this draft of a former but still young first overall I'd think about it. I'd also think about trading one of our young puck-moving defencemen for an opportunity to draft a future first-line center if it's unlikely that we'll be able to get our hands on one via trade or free agency I'd also give that idea a thought.

    In general, however, although I'm quite optimistic about this Bernier trade, I remain worried that nonis may be about to put too much of a stamp on this team through the summer - I think we have a really good young team and I think that they should be given another season to continue to develop and prove themselves.

    1. From a fan perspective, leafdreamer, big trades are one of the most "fun" things we can debate in the summertime. Many are happy with the deal, as you are. Others, like myself, less so.

      It would appear that this deal is a forerunner to other moves, which would not be a shock. Before too much early 'judgement' (which is natural for us as fans), let's see how the rest of the summer plays out, and of course, how the Leafs perform next season.

      On the competition question you mention above, and the next contract for both guys and a possible later trade: myself, I'm not sure I would run the risk of waiting to make another trade. They don't need two number-one goalies, though I agree injuries are always lurking. But both Reimer and Bernier have "value" now. If Bernier is just OK, he will have far less value a year from now.

      But all part of the debate! Thanks leafdreamer.

  16. At first blush, this trade is not as bad as the Tuukka Rask trade. Then again, it may turn out that way. Leaf fans and brass were quick to dismiss Ben Scrivens as a backup; however Scrivens’ stats in his rookie year are similar to Bernier’s after several years in the NHL. In my opinion, while Reimer earned the number one job mostly through his mental attitude, Scrivens was the more talented member of the Leafs’ former tandem. Scrivens was the top goaltender in the AHL and showed a remarkable .915 save percentage as an NHL rookie. His talent level did not escape the Canucks who tried to poach him at the trade deadline and the Kings who finally did. These facts should not be lost on Leaf supporters. Vancouver and Los Angeles are teams with a history of acquiring and developing high end goaltending. Moreover, to talk about Scrivens does not even consider Frattin and yet another high draft choice.

    The bottom line, Nonis overpaid for an unproven goaltender, one who has played relatively little in recent years. Far from a public show of feeling bad about the trade, behind closed doors the Kings’ management is heartily snickering and chortling. Not only did they get Scrivens, but they hoodwinked Nonis into giving up much more as well.

    Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think that Nonis is in as far over his head as JFJ. He almost certainly has more autonomy. Nevertheless, he is now squandering trading chips that would have been useful to address actual needs. Is Nonis an incompetent dupe? I don’t think so. While he can come across as a corporate automaton, we are seeing the exercise of free will and the semblance of intelligent behavior. However, his tendency to become focussed on and now monkey with areas in which the team was already set distinguishes him from the likes of Peter Chiarelli or Dean Lombardi. Unfortunately however, for Leaf fans, a little intelligence could turn out to be a dangerous thing.

    1. You and I have had this discussion around Nonis and Reimer for some time, Bobby C.- it would appear the Leaf GM simply is not sold on Reimer, or you just don't make this kind of a move. I was nodding along as I read your post.

      Like you, I think Nonis is a perfectly capable guy, and he is also capable of bold strokes (e.g. Luongo in Vancouver and now this). That said, I don't see him as one of the "best" GM's out there. (That doesn't mean this move won't work out- maybe it will...). But it is clear he has no faith in Reimer. You don't keep asking a guy to 'win' his job every year if you believe in him.

      I always remember when Doug Favell and Bernie Parent were emerging young "star" goalies with the Flyers in the early years of expansion. It seemed like a great idea, having two talented young goalies on the same team. But neither was really happy being a back-up, and the Flyers only become winners once they moved Favell (no knock on him- he was a fine goalie, just not a Hall-of-Famer like Parent...)

      I know, I know, it's a different world now. But you don't need two 'number-one's in their mid-20s. So ultimately Reimer will be traded, clearly.

      Thanks Bobby C. ...there may be much more to bat around in the days ahead.

  17. Anthonny Petrielli over at Maple Leafs Hot Stove makes an interesting point that Carlyle while in Annaheim liked to split starts between Hiller and Giguere - that neither ever got more than 58 starts in a season. I'm pretty sure you need not worry about Reimer being pushed out. If he's good he'll get to play and stay.

    By the way, sorry for all my typing mistakes in the previous post - I'll make sure I proofread my comments in the future.

    1. Don't worry about typos, leafdreamer- I'm sure my posts are filled with them, as hard as I try to minimize such errors...

      On the Carlyle matter...for me it's different- when the Ducks won the Cup, Giguere was the undisputed number-one.

      I'll borrow Carlyle's own phrase- it's all just, in my view, "white noise" emanating from MLSE when they try to say there will be a competition. That's what they have to say at this point for public consumption.

      It's a done deal. Bernier is the guy...

      An aside: I'm not concerned about Reimer's psyche, or that he can't handle pressure or competition. That's not my point. He can, of course. He has already well demonstrated that.

      The point is the Leafs (Nonis and Carlyle) obviously feel Bernier is the guy they can win with. I'm not sure if Reimer was supposed to score into an empty net to prove he could beat the Bruins...) That's their job, to make that call. I accept that.

      But I won't buy for a second that this is not a knock on Reimer, or that this will somehow push him to be a better goalie. It's a damning statement and is a common theme under Nonis when it comes to Reimer.

      My phrase of the day: we'll see...

  18. i know fans like Reimer, but he does have problems that need to be addressed. Not the "high glove side" mcguffin we keep hearing about, but the poor rebound control and that weak catching hand. As we know only too well, a little improvement there, and we're playing the Rangers. (I could say the same thing about defensive clearing and strong backchecking, of course.) Bottom line: Reimer remains a question mark full of potential, who definitely showed improvement this year. Like a couple of posters, I actually preferred Scrivens' play. Both he and Reimer upgraded their post-to-post mobility, but Scrivens had the superior rebound skills to my eyes.
    Is he about to be part of a larger upgrade deal? That seems unlikely to me. Just as I can't see how Reimer will be part of an upgrade. If he's good enough for that, why would we trade him? Unless there's something in place which will address our real concerns and for which Reimer was an integral part. That would make some kind of sense.
    One thing's for sure - this deal has made me a little uneasy about management's direction. It seems to be a sideways move at best, and not what we really need to be focussing on. For the moment, we'll have to wait and see if there's a larger plan at work. (After all, Frattin's expendable if Clarkson, say, joins us). But when I see Phaneuf's name mentioned as being in play, I get that old familiar sinking feeling. As I do when I see Kessel being suggested as trade material. I don't see either of those players being easily replaced, let alone improved upon, in any deal.

    1. Hi Gerund O'- I guess we will have to wait until the canvas is completed before we can make fair assessments. Right now, it feels like we are (and what else can we do?) commenting on a half finished work of art.

      In the short term, it's a bit baffling for me, though for many fans it's easy: goaltending wins championships, and they think Bernier is better, full stop.

      Clearly Nonis and Carlyle think he is, so there we have it.

  19. Just a short post, because I don't have anything to add by way of analysis. There are lots of points to be made, for and against, and I will leave it to others to make those points as I feel that they are in a better frame of mind. As for me, maybe a word about feelings instead of bright ideas. I am shocked at how angry I am about this move, real white hot anger. I had always thought that the organization couldn't do anything to shake my core loyalty, but for some reason this move has completely shattered it, I'm talking burn the jersey stuff. Funny, eh? I wonder why. Harold Ballard couldn't do it, Punch Imlach couldn't, even poor JFJ couldn't, but Dave Nonis scares the living daylights out of me. The closest I came to this feeling was when Fletcher disgracefully outed the captain, Mats Sundin, and let him twist in the public wind of an embarrassingly xenophobic resentment of his sincere desire to stay and help the team he loved - nice move, break the heart of a guy who carried your team on his back for all those years, with grace and humility. He could have stolen three Doug Gilmours from the Flames and still not atoned for that. But now, there's something creepy going on with this one, I can't put my finger on it, I'm wondering if I feel that the team has acted dishonourably towards Reimer and the fans. I'm fighting it a bit because I want to give Bernier a fair shake, he sounds like a great kid. But I do wonder what was going on behind that Nonis scowl in the press box as he watched game after game where Reimer did everything he could to show he belonged, knowing that he had been knee deep in talks with the Kings for months. Yikes, getting angry again. Yes doctor, I'm calm, what, roll up my sleeve? OK, yes, whatever you say ...

    1. I absolutely loved your post, Michael. It made me smile, but more than that, got me thinking.

      It's funny, I guess my views, to a certain extent, parallel yours. I find myself troubled when I should be going "hey, we got a nice young goalie who may be really, really good".

      I guess for me, it's a bit like when you are asked to work on things, to improve, to be conscientious and loyal. You do everything you are asked to do. Sure, you still have flaws, but you work your tail off, and do everything asked of you to improve and get better. (In Reimer's case, throw in working past a serious injury...)

      The thanks you get is reading in the paper that someone was just given your job- though your bosses will claim publicly that you can still "fight" for your old job.

      There's a reason you are upset, Michael, and you're not crazy. The things you refer to- Ballard's behaviour, how he treated Keon and Sittler at the end of their time in Toronto as just two examples, would have been enough to make many fans say the hell with this classless franchise.

      And I agree with you on Sundin. That was all Fletcher. I never had an issue with Mats wanting to stay in Toronto. We live in a me-first world where players constantly say, "get me out of here, I want to go to a winner-- see Miami Heat)..." rather than wanting to stay to help make their team a winner. Sundin wanted to stay, and got the back of Fletcher's hand.

      Reimer is now on the receiving end of similar treatment.

      Of course we all get that there is no loyalty in sports and no room for emotion. If all you care about is the "business" and "winning", fine, I guess. But Reimer is a popular Leaf for a reason.

      Oh well, I'm just complaining now. Nonis has had this in mind forever. Burke, too. Reimer was never their guy, drafted, after all, by Ferguson. GM's always want "their" guys.

      Thanks Michael....we may feel better some day about the team, but for now, my feelings, like yours, are not positive-- regardless of how good a player Bernier turns out to be.

  20. The Bernier trade just reinforces my belief that Nonis is more of an analytic than a romantic. Reimer is a great story and we all love him but the Leafs have clearly upgraded in the goaltending department.

    I have been a Scrivens fan but I never saw him as a possible franchise goalie. To me, he would always be a backup to Reimer.
    Now we have Bernier added to the mix who might be even better than Reimer...there are certainly many people around who seem to think that Bernier could be one of the best goalies in the NHL. Has anyone ever thought that about Scrivens?
    Now add the injury component - Reimer has played 37, 34 and 33 games the last 3 years. We can't just assume that he will last 60 games when he has not come close to that.
    Now add the concerns about his technique - glove hand, ability to handle the puck, rebound control.
    The one thing you can't doubt about Reimer is his mental makeup and compete level. That is why we love him. I don't see him going down in this battle with Bernier without a fight.
    We might have one of the best tandems in the NHL next year as our goalies push each other. At a minimum, Nonis has certainly hedged his bets and protected us from a possible Reimer injury.

    And while I am a Frattin fan I don't think he is irreplaceable especially if we are fortunate enough to sign Clarkson. Perhaps Nonis already knows that Clarkson is inbound.

    1. You have every right to feel positive about this move, apollo678. I may not quite share your enthusiasm, but I can understand why some fans like the move.

      I'm sure Reimer is ticked. It's fine to be asked to compete for your job, but not year after year. He has shown he can be a number-one guy (in my view; others may disagree...) so now we have two guys capable of that function (though Bernier has never been that), which is fine, but not when the Leafs have so many other roster flaws that need to be dealt with.

      So I'm not a fan of the move, but again, I get why some like it.

    2. I am not sure if I am enthusiastic or not but I can understand the logic of trying to improve your tandem and the logic behind hedging your bets (given Reimer's injury history). I believe Anthony Petrelli noted that about a year ago we had to go with Rynnas and the Monster. Contrast that with Reimer and Bernier a year later. Massive upgrade.
      And it looks like everyone on the roster needs to compete all of the time. No country club here anymore.
      And what did it really cost us if we are able to bring in Clarkson to replace Frattin and promote say Carter, Damigo or Biggs? 2nd rounder for Bernier and a higher cap number?

    3. I hear you, Apollo678, but it's only a tandem if a) both guys are still with the club in September and b) they are a "happy" tandem.

      No amount of p.r. spin will make this a good thing for Reimer. That's fine. Players lose their spots all the time. Just not sure he deserved this.

      As for the "cost", should Bernier be what some seem to project, the cost will have been very little.