Jonathan Bernier Sent to AHL

The Toronto Maple Leafs and goaltender Jonathan Bernier have agreed to send Bernier to the AHL on a conditioning stint pending James Reimer’s clean bill of health, according to multiple sources. Reimer is expected to start on Thursday, while rookie Garret Sparks will get the net on Wednesday against the Winnipeg Jets.

Bernier started the season as Toronto’s number one, but hasn’t recorded a win all year, going 0-8-1 through nine starts, with a .888 save percentage. Reimer had taken the starter’s slot with a 7-3-4 record and a .934 save percentage.

Pouring salt into the wound earlier this week, Reimer went down with an injury. Coach Mike Babcock game Bernier the start, and saw Bernier give up four goals on 23 shots. The next game Babcock gave Sparks his NHL debut. Sparks posted a shutout.

In order for the temporary assignment to happen, Bernier was required to agree to the conditioning assignment and he will be paid his NHL salary while playing with the Toronto Marlies.

It’s probably smart for Bernier to agree to the assignment with his recent poor play and how strong Reimer has been.

In the AHL Bernier will get some games and have time to work on his game. The Marlies play three games both weekends he’ll be down there. He’s expected to start four of those six games, according to TSN’s Jonas Siegel.

In the meantime, Reimer, who is presumably healthy again, will take the reins, with Sparks likely to get a little action as well in the team’s upcoming back-to-back.

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