Wednesday March 27th, 2013

Jonathan Bernier of Los Angeles Kings Jonathan Bernier's stock rose dramatically this season as starter Jonathan Quick struggled. (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

By Allan Muir

Not much was made of Jonathan Bernier's absence from Tuesday's White House event.

But when the backup goaltender at the center of countless trade rumors didn't show up at the Kings' practice this morning -- forcing goaltending coach Bill Ranford to don a pair of Jonathan Quick's pads and step in -- the rumor mill began to churn.

Was Bernier on his way out of town?

Apparently not. According to Lisa Dillman of the LA Times, Bernier is home attending to a family matter.

But it would have to be a fairly serious matter to miss out on a chance to meet the president and miss a day at the office, wouldn't it?

UPDATE: Dillman tweeted that Bernier's grandmother passed away. Our condolences to Bernier and his family.

He's expected to rejoin the team this evening.

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