Detroit Red Wings: Jonathan Bernier should be welcomed back

(James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)
(James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings have to get their goaltending situation in order for the 2021-22 season. They should do so by signing Jonathan Bernier to a new contract. He made $3 million during the 2020-21 season and is now an unrestricted free agent.

As the 2021-22 season approaches, the Detroit Red Wings are going to need to iron things out between the pipes. With Thomas Greiss returning, they need a backup or a starter, depending on who fills that role.

This year it was Bernier and Greiss who handled the goaltending duties. The 32-year old netminder has not been all that bad for them in the past few seasons. He has spent the last three seasons in a Red Wings uniform, serving as the backup and eventual starter.

The 2019-20 season Red Wings MVP was Bernier, and in 2020-21, he battled some injuries but still deserves a welcome back to the organization. It may not happen until well into the offseason, but Bernier should be re-signed.

The Detroit Red Wings should re-sign goaltender Jonathan Bernier.

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The tandem with Bernier and Greiss was better than in 2019-20, where Jimmy Howard was still rotting away as the team’s backup.

Howard is now enjoying retirement, and Bernier is still kicking around as a great signing by the Red Wings.

In 2020-21, Bernier played 24 games, making 23 starts where he was 9-11-1 with a .914 save-percentage (SV%) and a 2.99 goals-against average (GAA) for the Red Wings.

As was mentioned above, he did have some injury issues but still played in just shy of half of the season.

On a horrifically bad 2019-20 team, Bernier provided one of the few positives with his performance.

Bernier played in 46 games of the 2019-20 season, where he had a 15-22-3 record. He posted a .907 SV% and a 2.95 GAA which was great considering the circumstances.

With the Red Wings still trudging through their rebuild, there is not a need to have top-flight goaltending. Re-signing Bernier ensures the team continues to have netminders they can trust, even while the team struggles in many other areas.

Bernier and Greiss was a solid tandem in 2020-21, and there is no reason they should steer away from this. These two will make for a good tandem for another year at minimum. This provides a chance for them to be stopgaps.

In the case of future goaltenders, it looks like Carter Gylander and Keith Petruzzelli are the two to keep eyes on. Filip Larsson’s time is likely done, and he just simply never panned out. Petruzzelli has been money for Quinnipiac and could be signed and thrown into the organization.

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Gylander is at Colgate, where he is still at least two years from getting signed and tossed into the fray. Well, he could be signed earlier, but the organization should let him develop more at Colgate. With all of this in mind, the Detroit Red Wings are stupid not to re-sign Bernier.