The New Jersey Devils according to reports are going to sign goaltender Jonathan Bernier to a two-year contract worth $8.25 million. The contract carries a salary-cap hit of $4.125 million.
Jonathan Bernier NJ 2x$4.125
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 28, 2021
New Jersey Devils Sign Jonathan Bernier
In Jonathan Bernier, the Devils get a remarkably consistent goalie that’s played well above expectations. This season, Bernier has started 17 games with a 9-11-0 record and a .914 save percentage, tied with Jordan Binnington and Jaroslav Halak. He ends his time with the Red Wings with a 3.03 goals-allowed-average and a 0.5 wins-above replacement.
Over his 13-year NHL career, Bernier has played for the Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs, Anaheim Ducks, Colorado Avalanche, and Detroit Red Wings. In that time, he has played in 388 games, compiling a 160-155-38 record. In addition, he had a career of 2.77 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. He was originally drafted in the 1st round, 11th overall of the 2006 NHL draft by the Los Angeles Kings.
What This Means for the Future
With the signing, the Devils get the backup goalie they have been looking for. They were in need of one ever since Corey Crawford retired last season. Bernier will be able to take some of the work load off of Mackenzie Blackwood. At 32 years of age, it’s doubtful he’ll emerge as the starting goaltender ahead of Blackwood. Having said that, he’s still a strong, solid depth goalie. He’ll work wonders as a 1B goalie, as that is where the league is heading towards and something the Devils need. While Bernier received very little defensive help from the Red Wings, the new change in roster should provide the netminder with a breath of fresh air.
The Devils could not roll out the same goaltending tandem as they did last year. This has been an area of weakness and general manager Tom Fitzgerald has hoped he found his man in Bernier. It will be interesting to see how he splits time with Blackwood this season, but these two will work nicely for the upcoming year. Fitzgerald has stated that he wants to play meaningful games this season. This is a step in the right direction.
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