The Toronto Maple Leafs couldn't get a deal done with their number one goaltender, as they had to go through their club-elected arbitration hearing and the decision came down on Sunday, which the team had to commit to. The arbitrator ruled that Jonathan Bernier was worth a 2-year, $8.3 million deal, which came out much closer to what the player was looking for, than what the team was looking to pay for him.
The $4.15 million cap hit for Bernier is very reasonable for a starting goaltender in the league and wasn't too far from the $5.1 million he was reportedly looking for.
The Leafs finished 15th out of 16 teams in the Eastern Conference, which meant that there was not a lot of wins to be had for Bernier and company. The 27-year old keeper finished 26th among all goalies in pool scoring, ending up with 21 wins, 2 shutouts and an assist for 47 points.
I won't say that the season for the Leafs can be blamed on Bernier, but he certainly couldn't do enough to stop the bleeding at times, which can be very frustrating.
The 2016 season doesn't project to be a very good one for the Maple Leafs, as their turnover both upstairs and at ice-level will bring some serious growing pains. That's not to say that this team won't win any games, they'll likely pull a few games out of the fire, but it will be another frustrating year, as they try and find their way.
Currently, I have Bernier projecting for a few less points in the 2016 season, but only a few. I think he's a quality goaltender and he'll stand out from time to time and he should be able to give some confidence to the team in front of him. Just don't count on him for a huge season.