Devils sign G Bernier to two-year, $8.2 million contract

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — The New Jersey Devils have signed unrestricted free-agent goaltender Jonathan Bernier to a two-year, $8.25 million contract.

General manager Tom Fitzgerald announced the signing Wednesday, noting the 32-year-old will make $3.6 million this coming season and $4.65 million in 2022-23.

Bernier spent the past three seasons with Detroit, playing in 105 contests. He posted a 9-11-1 record in 24 games with a 2.99 goals-against average and .914 save percentage. He faced an average 34.8 shots last season, which led the NHL.

His rights were previously acquired last week by Carolina from Detroit with a third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft for goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic. Since he was an unrestricted free agent, Bernier was free to sign with any team.

Mackenzie Blackwood was the Devils starting goaltender last season. Fitzgerald had signed veteran Corey Crawford to share the job in net, but the former Blackhawk retired before the season. Scott Wedgewood and Aaron Dell served as the New Jersey backups.

“Bringing in Jonathan provides us with a solid and experienced veteran presence in net,” Fitzgerald said. “In consultation with our goaltending development department, we believe that this gives us the stability we have been looking for and can help support and push Mackenzie moving forward. He’s going to be a great influence on our young team and is excited to join the group.”

In 394 career NHL regular-season games, the former first-round pick has posted a 161-159-39 record, with 19 shutouts, a .913 save percentage, and 2.77 GAA. He has appeared in nine Stanley Cup playoff contests.

Bernier also has played for Colorado, Anaheim, Toronto and the Los Angeles Kings, winning a Stanley Cup in 2012.

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