Jonathan Bernier heads to AHL's Marlies on conditioning stint

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Sean Leahy
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Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images
Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

Garret Sparks’ shutout Monday night and the continued struggles of Jonathan Bernier made it so that one of the Toronto Maple Leafs' goaltenders was to be the odd-man out. 

It’s clear that it’s Sparks and James Reimer who Mike Babcock will choose going forward in goal, so on Wednesday Bernier agreed to a conditioning stint with the AHL’s Marlies. 

Through nine starts this season Bernier is 0-8-1 with a .903 even strength save percentage. Playing behind one of the NHL’s worst offenses, the Leafs have scored more than one goal only three times this season with Bernier in net.

It’s a smart move by Bernier. He needs to get his game back and he won’t be able to do that in practice or with the Leafs given the presence of Sparks and Reimer. With the AHL’s Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule, he’ll be able to get into likely two games a weekend with the Marlies. He only started twice in the entire month of November. 

The stint could last as long as 14 days, which would give Bernier ample amount of time to get a handful of starts in and allow the Leafs to continue to see if Sparks is for real.

Bernier is signed through the end of next season with a $4.15 million salary, per General Fanager. A good showing in the AHL could help boost his potential trade value as well.

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Sean Leahy is the associate editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at puckdaddyblog@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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