The Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed goaltender Jonathan Bernier for two-years at an average of $4.15 million per season. Despite Lou Lamoriello's words to the contrary, one has to think this deal is something of a 'prove-it' contract, which if Bernier does well will lead to a longer-term agreement either with the Leafs or somewhere else. While the Leafs may be rebuilding, there's something to be said for not having a completely miserable team atmosphere because your goaltending is a sieve.
"I want to be part of the Maple Leafs and this rebuild." - Bernier #TMLtalk— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) August 2, 2015
Cap hits similar to Bernier ($4.15M) among goalies: Mason (PHI): $4.1M Pavelec (WPG): $3.9M— Peter B (@PBaracchini) August 2, 2015
And now the news.
While avoiding a slow start is indeed important for the Colorado Avalanche, they may also want to work on not being terrible at large. (The Hockey Writers)
Sports Illustrated goes behind the arena experience curtain to interview Michael Gruber, Music Director for the Dallas Stars. The question I want answered is, will he play Taylor Swift any and every time Patrick Kane is in the building? (SI)
Erik Haula and the Minnesota Wild more-or-less split the difference between them, agreeing to a two-year deal with an AAV of $1 million. Not much to complain about at that salary number. (StarTribune)
Our St. Louis frenemies believe the Blues will win the division, which would matter more if they hadn't done it last season and look how that turned out. They also see Nashville as their biggest threat in the Central, which in my opinion underestimates Chicago's reload-not-rebuild summer. (Bleedin' Blue)
The action never stops at the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp, where Jets 2015 3rd round pick Erik Foley continues to make a name for himself. While his Team Blue may have fallen to Sweden 5-2, Foley's shorthanded goal managed to bring the Americans within one before the Swedes pulled ahead in the 3rd. (USA Hockey)
Erik Foley's shorthanded goal, but this is amazing PK work from Senators' 1st-rounder Colin White to set it up. http://t.co/yc2qJbrgCX— Adam Herman (@AdamHerman_BSB) August 2, 2015
Erik Foley...the one that got away. Bruins fans are going to be asking why they didn't take him 75th. No disrespect to Daniel Vladar...— Kirk Luedeke (@kluedeke29) August 2, 2015
And All The Rest
If Nick Ritchie makes the team this season, the Anaheim Ducks may win all their games by simply sitting on opponents. (ProHockeyTalk)
Speaking of Matthews, the kid has a World Junior chip on his shoulder after Team USA finished 5th in last year's tournament. (NHL)
"Judge orders NHL to turn over injury and concussion data" sounds like an intense headline, but I have to think this is rather expected given the nature of the lawsuit. (TSN)
Coming off of his first professional season, there is still plenty of time for Hunter Shinkaruk to fulfill his potential of "a Jeff Skinner type – undersized winger with superior edge control and offensive instincts." His 31 points in 74 games put him in the same range as fellow rookies Anthony Mantha (33 points in 62 games), Taylor Leier (31 points in 73 games) and Winnipeg prospect Scott Kosmachuk (28 points in 70 games). (The Hockey News)
Thanks for reading! Be sure to say in the Comments section below what you think of the Jonathan Bernier contract.