The third NHL free agent signing of the weekend, one of the worst-kept secrets of the NHL free agency wine-and-dine period is finally a done deal, as the Red Wings have reportedly added Jonathan Bernier.
#RedWings announced Mike Green signing (2 years at $5.375 million per) and will announce 1-year deal for Thomas Vanek ($3 million) and 3 years for Jonathan Bernier ($3 million per season) after noon, when free agency officially begins. No more signings expected.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) July 1, 2018
Bernier, who will turn 30 prior to the season starting, makes Detroit his fifth NHL team. He comes most-recently from a 34-start season for Colorado where he put up 19 wins, a .913 save percentage, and two shutouts. All-in-all, it was basically his career average to this point.
Bernier, through injuries and being outplayed has been unable to keep hold of an NHL starter’s spot. Joining Detroit on a three-year deal immediately behind Jimmy Howard on the last year of his current contract should give him the opportunity to spend the upcoming season trying to prove he ought to be a transitional starter for the team to give himself and the Red Wings flexibility going forward at the goalie position. The cap hit should keep his deal attractive enough should he find starter-level consistency, he could find himself either mentoring a future Red Wings starter or back with a contender before he hits free agency again.