Jonathan Bernier Shows Skill, New Attitude In Brief Stint With LA Kings

EL SEGUNDO, CA — For much of the 2008-09 season, Los Angeles Kings goaltending prospect Jonathan Bernier was not a happy camper.

First, he was upset that he was unable to crack the Kings lineup out of training camp, even though an injury contributed greatly to that.

Not long after that, when goaltender Jonathan Quick was called up from the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, Bernier pouted.

“When we called up Quick, [Bernier] did not work hard in practice,” said Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi. “He thought this was going to be an easy ride to the NHL.”

“[Bernier has] always been one of the top goaltenders in Canada his whole life,” Lombardi added. “It’s all been fairly easy because he’s so talented and he thought he would go right to the Kings. When it didn’t happen, he didn’t want to work hard. One of the biggest complaints we had was, ‘you’re not coming up here until you learn to work hard in practice.’ He didn’t do it. When we called up Quick, he kind of went the other way on us. We actually called up [former Kings goalie prospect] Danny Taylor. We played him in Manchester.”

A long talk with Kings assistant general manager Ron Hextall appears to have straightened Bernier out.

“I had a long chat with Ron Hextall,” Bernier explained. “He’s an old goalie. He told me that if I want to get back [to the Kings], I need to work harder in practice and that’s what I did.”

“I remember Hextall [later] went down [to Manchester] and said, ‘wow...what a change,’” said Lombardi. “He’s working his tail off in practice, he almost got that team in the playoffs, he played really well down the stretch in some big games. Now we can say, ‘ he...

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