Dean Lombardi – ‘Bernier trade not feasible, he’s too valuable’

Bernier LA Kings by IkiriBased on the volume and type of questions coming in on twitter, facebook and our email address, it looks like about 30% of hockey fans might have checked out for long periods during the lockout.  Honestly, who can blame them?  The whole process was dreadful and became beyond frustrating with each passing day. So, like a five day training camp for the players to get ready for opening night, we’re going to use the next week to try and get everybody back up to speed – at the same time we serve up new content.

Topic – LA Kings goaltending, here we go…

Jonathan Bernier said he wants a trade out of LA and went to play in Germany during the lockout. (link)

– Right as the CBA deal was reached, Beriner trade rumors surfaced. We examined them and gave our take on when Beriner will likely get traded – plus we did a full look at the goaltending depth in the Kings organization. (link)

Jonathan Quick had off-season back surgery and was just medically cleared to play this week. We did an in-depth interview with him about his recovery and just how ready he actually is to play this season. (link)

Then, earlier today, the Kings held their season kick-off press conference at Staples Center. After the main portion was over and the smaller scrums began – this is where all the good stuff really happens at these things – I directly asked GM Dean Lombardi about the possibility of a Bernier trade:

“I don’t think that’s feasible at all right now. He’s an important part of this team. Let’s face it, our guys in the minors aren’t ready for that role. And that’s an important role. Like Darryl [Sutter] says, with all these games back-to-back and stuff – hey, a number two starter in baseball is pretty important and that’s the way a goaltender is. (So), I don’t see how that’s possible. He’s too important to us.”

Again, because of the compacted schedule, maybe more important this year than a normal season.

“Even more so. I thing the guy was really underestimated, maybe because of the volume he’s played. But, if you look at the games he’s won for us the last two years, to get us in the playoffs – he’s shown he can go in under not the best of circumstances and get it done in some tough buildings.”

So, what do you say to a guy who’s let it be known that he wants out, but you clearly need right now?

“Be a pro. There’s a system in place. It’s called the Collective Bargaining Agreement. At some point players – (after a pause) that’s the way it is. Obviously, if the right thing is there for the team, you look at it. But, you can’t be responding to this without the number one focus being on the team and he’s too important to the team. Unless something hits us that’s really going to help this team, it’s not feasible. Now, there’s a time limit on that, it’s called the CBA – where you don’t have that choice as a General Manager anymore and you do what’s best. But, that’s the system.”

Regardless of Quick being cleared to play, he’s still coming off back surgery. Bernier is an insurance policy.

End of story.

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John Hoven is a member of the of the Professional Hockey Writers Association and co-hosts Kings of the Podcast. He is also the founder and editor of MayorsManor.com, which has been named Best Sports Blog in Los Angeles by LA Weekly and Hockey Blog of the Year by Yahoo Sports. Click "ABOUT OUR TEAM" above for a full bio.

Comments

  1. Way to hold Lombardi’s feet to the fire and get a straight answer. Of course, this really just means that Bernier is guarranted to be traded.

  2. Zhitnik to Donnelly! says

    Bernier is a huge bargaining piece for DL. Hoping one of our Manchester goalies can prove their worth over the next few months, or else we could expect a vet backup in place of Bernier…if he’s traded of course.

    But I agree with Dean’s decision to keep Bernier around as long as possible. Injuries will be rampant due to the short season, and you can bet Dean will get a plum deal for Bernier the longer he waits.

    This is my 1st post at Mayors Manor…love the blog so far. Been a huge Kings fan since the late 80s…happy hockey is back!

  3. Despaties Richard says

    Lombardi lose bernier at the end of the season. He BS the goaltenders since few years. Many time last year he give the net for few game back a back.

    Dean you play black jack. You loose at the end of the season and i am happy

    • Although his contract is up at the end of this season, Bernier is still a Restricted Free Agent (RFA). Which means he cannot go to another team unless he’s offer sheet-ed, or the Kings don’t make him a contract offer. I guess the possibility of an offer sheet exists, if Bernier has a stellar season. Beyond that, he’s still pretty unproven, and I doubt many NHL teams would make him some crazy offer sheet.

  4. Bernier hasn’t been given a full shake yet. I don’t think he is underrated because he is an unskilled player but more because hockey works on an, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it system. Since the team has started getting things figured out, he wasn’t as needed. I was one of Bernier’s biggest supporters last season. He should have been given more play time early in the season. Allowing Quick some more rest. Every goaltender gets a little shaky when he’s played and played without a break. If the coaching staff doesn’t believe they have a strong backup how are Quick and the rest of the team supposed to believe it.

    Right now, he has the potential to be a strong backup and a good number one, when finally given the chance. He is a good bargaining chip for DL, but he’d be an even better one if the league saw was he was capable of.

    Lets face it, no player works their tail off to make it into the NHL, with the dream of being a backup and letting the talent that got them there go to waste on the bench.

Trackbacks

  1. […] John Hoven of Mayors Manor: Lombardi on possibility of a Bernier trade: “I don’t think that’s feasible at all right now. He’s an important part of this team. Let’s face it, our guys in the minors aren’t ready for that role. And that’s an important role. Like Darryl [Sutter] says, with all these games back-to-back and stuff – hey, a number two starter in baseball is pretty important and that’s the way a goaltender is. (So), I don’t see how that’s possible. He’s too important to us.” […]

  2. […] – In net, Jonaathan Quick and his injured back have been cleared to play. Lombardi doesn’t see a Jonathan Bernier trade as very likely though. See his full comments here. […]

  3. […] Dean Lomabrdi says Bernier trade isn’t likely – ‘He’s too valuable’ […]

  4. […] – GM Dean Lombardi says Bernier isn’t likely to be traded soon […]

  5. […] don’t worry – we have the audio. I joined Matthew Ross of Game Points to talk about Jonathan Bernier trade rumors, goaltending depth, the Kings road schedule this season, which Western Conference teams will be […]

  6. […] As for GM Dean Lombardi, he made his feelings about Bernier’s situation abundantly clear here. […]

  7. […] were during his first year as a pro in 2010-11. Recently, Lombardi was also quick to point out that Jones isn’t ready for the next step. So even if Bernier is traded at some point in the months ahead, don’t expect to see Jones in […]