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Jonathan Bernier returns from injury, faces immediate reminder he is Red Wings goalie in 7-1 loss

Bernier shelled as Red Wings return to abysmal play

Nashville Predators center Yakov Trenin (13) tries to play the puck off Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier (45) as Troy Stecher (70) defends in the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
Nashville Predators center Yakov Trenin (13) tries to play the puck off Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier (45) as Troy Stecher (70) defends in the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Jonathan Bernier has been atop the list of goalies that could be moved at the trade deadline.

That’s true despite his missing a couple weeks of action due to injury. The 32-year-old goalie posted a .937 save percentage in February, then a .917 in March. He was 8-6 on the season before Thursday night’s blowout loss to the Nashville Predators.

It’s a cruel lesson for a Red Wings goalie these days: One step forward, two steps back. The Red Wings have been best with Bernier between the pipes this season, and the hope was they could grab a win against the Predators to help give Bernier a strong return. He still mustered 25 saves, but was in net for all of Nashville’s 7 goals.

Bernier had not played since March 18. That’s when he left a game against the Dallas Stars with an apparent lower body injury. He becomes an unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the end of this season and carries a $3 million cap hit right now. He had boasted a .918 save percentage through 17 games played with the dismal Red Wings. That’s bumped down to .910 thanks to that .781 in Thursday’s loss to Nashville.

Teams have been eyeing Bernier as an insurance piece heading into the playoffs. He is a good option as a rental, though $3 million against the cap is a bit heavy.

The trade deadline is 3 p.m. Monday, April 12.

Red Wings forwards Robby Fabbri, Sam Gagner and Bobby Ryan all missed Thursday’s contest due to injury.

Ryan has been a trade target for weeks. He has 7 goals and 7 assists in 33 games played, but hasn’t played since March 28. The 34-year-old winger carries just a $1 million cap hit and will become an UFA at the end of the season. He has to be moved, right?

The clock is ticking.

UPDATE: Bobby Ryan expected to be done for season with injury

Trade obstacles

TSN’s hockey insider Frank Seravalli said the buyers list appears to be “way down” ahead of this trade deadline due to factors including:

“The flat salary cap; that a shortened schedule reduces an acquisition’s impact; that nearly half the NHL is operating in long-term injured reserve; diminished financial incentive to win an extra playoff round with arena capacity restrictions; tightened internal team budgets; a looming Expansion Draft.”

Yes, this is not a great list of obstacles for a team like the Red Wings who would love to be on a selling spree right now.

The Red Wings will head to Carolina for games against the Hurricanes on Saturday and Monday.




About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.