The Jonathan Bernier auction ended Sunday morning with the Kings sending their No. 2 goalie to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for two players and a future draft choice.
They received forward Matt Frattin, goalie Ben Scrivens and a second-round pick. The draft pick from the Maple Leafs could be in 2014 or 2015, at Toronto's option.
Bernier, who has long sought to be a No. 1 goalie, will get that chance in Toronto. He moves away from the long shadow of Kings starter Jonathan Quick, who was the playoff MVP in the Kings' run to the Stanley Cup last year.
That said, it wasn't easy for the Kings to pull the trigger in a complicated set of circumstances.
Bernier had been the subject of trade rumors the last few years, but it only got serious in recent months when he approached restricted free agency. Bernier, once the Kings' goalie of the future before Quick's emergence, would have become a restricted free agent July 5.
"Goalies are hard to move," Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said in a brief phone interview with The Times. "They're really hard to move, you're never going to get total value but you try to get the best you can."
The interest in Bernier started at about 15 teams and it appeared as though three or four teams were involved in the latter stages. Media reports had cited that Philadelphia and Minnesota had interest in Bernier and apparently so did the Columbus Blue Jackets, at some point during the process.
[Updated 11:30 a.m. PDT, June 23: "It's a good young team that wants to win. It's obviously a great organization, that will do pretty much anything to win," Bernier said. "I'm very happy to go play for a great club and great organization."
Did he start to think this day would never come?
"It felt that way," Bernier said. "But I'll look in ten years and I'll be like, 'Oh, it was just a short time in my career.' I'm very happy. And Tim (Leiweke) just called. He's very excited to have me on board."
Leiweke served as the President and CEO of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Kings until he was replaced by Dan Beckerman. Leiweke is currently the head of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.]
Frattin, 25, played in 25 games for Toronto last season, scoring seven goals and 13 points and was a plus-six.
Lombardi said he tried to trade for Frattin a couple of years ago.
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