Bernier on Leafs' radar

The Maple Leafs have had varying degrees of interest in Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier since the...

The Maple Leafs have had varying degrees of interest in Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier since the NHL draft in June. (Elsa/Getty Images/AFP file photo)

TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:52 PM ET

TORONTO - The Maple Leafs’ interest in acquiring Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier dates to at least the entry draft in Pittsburgh in June.

It might have waned at some point, but a source told QMI Agency on Wednesday night that the Leafs’ interest in Bernier has picked up steam.

Whether an actual offer has been made by the Leafs is not clear, but one name that has been apparently involved in trade talk is Leafs forward Matt Frattin.

Bernier recently said he wants out of Los Angeles, given the 10-year contract signed by Kings No. 1 netminder Jonathan Quick.

Bernier’s salary will represent a $1.25-million US hit against the cap in 2012-13, and he will be a restricted free agent next summer.

Leafs general manager Brian Burke said during a recent radio interview that he was not interested in acquiring a young goalie that was unproven. Bernier, 23, has played in 48 NHL games since the Kings drafted him in 2006.

But that doesn’t mean he has not been exploring the possibility behind closed doors.

Burke also has said that he is comfortable starting next season starting with James Reimer and Ben Scrivens in goal, but other times has indicated an interest in improving at the position with an experienced goalie.


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