The Kings traded backup goalie Jonathan Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs… (Ann Heisenfelt / Associated…)
Jonathan Bernier always seemed like he had that special spark, that certain slice of charisma.
Not that it is easy to define, but you know it when you see it.
Now the goaltender will be taking those qualities from Los Angeles to Toronto. After long spells (months ... years?) of speculation, he was finally dealt to the Maple Leafs on Sunday morning in exchange for two players and a future pick.
Another important piece of this particular deal is money: The Maple Leafs still have $500,000 on the books next season, giving the Kings some salary-cap assistance.
Bernier kept his frustration to a minimum and it certainly could not have been easy in the shadow of Kings goalie Jonathan Quick. He had to wait patiently for a trade, for a shot at being the No. 1 goalie.
His attitude with the Los Angeles media was always professional and he sounded excited Sunday morning in a brief telephone conversation with The Times.
"They're a good young team that wants to win, and obviously it's a great organization that will do pretty much anything to win," he said, of Toronto, from his cottage in Quebec. "That's one thing I was pushing for, to play for a great club and great organization."
At tines, did he feel this day would never come?
"I felt that way," Bernier said. "But I'll look in 10 years and I'll be, 'Oh, it was just short time in my career.' Obviously at the moment it felt like it was never going to end. ' I'm very happy and Tim (Leiweke) just called me. He's very excited to have me on board. It's going to be a great opportunity for me to show what I can do with a great team."
Bernier's auditions were limited ones until this past season. But he had a mature handle on how the experience would shape him going forward.
"That was probably the one thing that I probably looked back, my time in L.A., I wish I had more opportunity to show what I could do," Bernier said. "But in a career, it's so short that you can't really look back.
"You've got to always move forward and right now it's time to show what I learned in three years, in my ups and downs. I'm sure that's going to help me out in a few years coming up."
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