Jonathan Bernier, a one-time No. 1 goaltender with the Toronto Maple Leafs who had a strong season with the Anaheim Ducks in a backup role in 2016-17, will sign a new free-agent contract with the Colorado Avalanche Saturday, NHL sources tell BSNDenver.

Terms of the contract are not yet available. Bernier, 28, had a cap hit of $4.2 million with Anaheim last season.

Bernier was 21-7-4 with Anaheim, with a 2.50 goals-against average and .915 saves percentage. In 252 NHL games with Los Angeles, Toronto and Anaheim, he has the same .915 career saves percentage. Bernier was the 11th overall selection in the 2006 NHL draft by Los Angeles, and a native of Laval, Quebec.

He figures to be a solid replacement for youngster Calvin Pickard, who was taken by the Vegas Golden Knights in the Expansion draft earlier this month. He will go into Avs training camp as the expected backup, but he has shown the ability to claim the No. 1 spot for his teams in the past. He started one playoff game for the Ducks in the playoffs this past spring, though he didn’t fare well.

Bernier, who wore No. 1 with the Ducks, will likely have to get a new number, as that belongs to Varlamov.

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Adrian Dater

Adrian Dater is a staff writer with BSNDenver. He started his journalism career way, way back in 1988 as a proofreader with the Concord Monitor as a kid out of college (Keene State College), and has wended its way since with a 25-year stop at The Denver Post, 20 of which were spent as the beat writer of the Colorado Avalanche, from its inception in 1995. Adrian has also worked as a primary hockey writer with Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, The Hockey News, and Bleacher Report. He is the author of seven sports books, including the best-selling “Blood Feud: Colorado Avalanche v. Detroit Red Wings, The Inside Story of Pro Sports’ Nastiest and Best Rivalry of Its Era” and “100 Things Avalanche Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die”, which was published in October, 2016.

  • Ilkin Gambar

    That is a good insurance in case Varly is subpar or maybe that will be the reason Varly will be subpar.

  • Ace O’Dale

    Good move by the Avs. Don’t see anyone in the pipeline that’s ready to fill the backup role for at least another season. Hopefully Bernie plays his way to a longer stay with the team.