Since coming to Las Vegas, Robin Lehner has pretty much been an open book. From his crusade against the stigmas of mental health to his thoughts on NHL protocols surrounding vaccination to his relationship with Marc-Andre Fleury, there’s no one in the NHL that can be described as more honest than Lehner.
But there’s always been one subject he hasn’t wanted to broach, and that’s his nickname.
For years now Lehner has been dubbed “The Panda” by fans, teammates, coaches, and even himself. He plays into the name constantly, wearing it on his goalie mask and often tweeting gifs of pandas to show what is on his mind.
— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) May 8, 2021
However, when asked, he’s always declined to explain the origin of the nickname, until yesterday when he appeared on the Spittin Chiclets podcast.
It’s not as mysterious as it’s been, it’s just the only thing I didn’t answer, but it’s pretty simple. I watch King Fu Panda with my son a lot in Chicago and it’s actually a pretty good movie, I like it. Just the whole thing about it, this fat bear that learns to move around and I just saw myself in him. He learned how to play kung fu and I’m a big fat goalie that plays in the NHL. It just felt fitting. -Robin Lehner on Spittin Chiclets
So there you have it.
**You can hear the whole interview here. Like all Robin Lehner interviews, and all Spittin Chiclets episodes, it’s enlightening while also hilarious.**