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.