The Toronto Maple Leafs have traded goaltender Jonathan Bernier to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a conditional pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Many, like the Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle are reporting that the acquisition of Bernier by the Ducks was essentially a part of the Frederik Andersen trade from earlier in the summer.
However, Bernier was due a signing bonus of $2 million on July 1. By waiting until after that point to make the Bernier trade, the Ducks avoid paying out the additional $2 million in actual cash this season. He will still carry the full cap hit of $4.125 million, but the actual payout will be significantly less.
BREAKING: #NHLDucks acquire Jonathan Bernier from TOR for conditional draft choice: https://t.co/DMhHDcCPt4 pic.twitter.com/3Wultt150S
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) July 8, 2016
Details on what the conditional pick will be haven’t surfaced, but with the perception that this is just part two of the Andersen trade, Leafs fans shouldn’t expect the pick to be significant.
For Anaheim, they gain a veteran backup — even if he struggled last season — for John Gibson as a part of the deal that sent Andersen out of town. For Toronto, it’s clear that they believe that Andersen will be their guy. They will either be giving one of their young goaltenders like Garret Sparks a shot at the backup job, or they may look to the free agent market where netminders like Jhonas Enroth and Karri Ramo are a part of an incredibly thin class of goaltenders.
The move also helps get Toronto under the cap. General Fanager projects that they currently have $3.55 million in cap space remaining. However, between Nathan Horton and Stephane Robidas they would have the ability to go about $8.3 million over the cap due to long-term injured reserve.