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Robin Lehner Blasts NHL Over “Blatant Lie” About Players Taking COVID Vaccine

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

Robin Lehner stepped up to the mic today during the Golden Knights player media availability on Zoom. He answered a few questions and then without being prompted by a question decided to deliver a message on the way the NHL is handling COVID protocols following players receiving the vaccine.

I want to address a couple of things here without stepping on anyone’s toes or what not. I feel like I have a responsibility to say something here for myself and for other people throughout the league.

When I got back from my concussion we got approached to take the vaccine and basically how that turned out was that we were shown that the vaccines is available if X amount of players around this team take the vaccine that a new set of rules are going to come out. We were shown the NBA protocols, promised the NBA protocols, to get back some type of normalcy.

COVID is dangerous, it’s been a crazy thing for everyone but we were approached and promised things would change for our league if we got vaccinated. So after our second vaccination, 10 days after, we were going to start enjoying life again. People don’t really know, we’ve been in total isolation, we can’t get out of our house, we can’t go out of our hotel and it’s been over a year now and no one ever talks about the mental health aspect of that stuff.

To be promised something is going to change if you take a vaccine and some players were on the verge of even taking it, I was one of them, I wasn’t sure, but I took it for my mental health. Now we did it and they change, now they say it’s not happening. I think that’s wrong.

Then I had a couple of calls with the league and with the NHLPA yesterday and this is why I wanted to talk today. It makes me furious and I don’t care what anyone is going to do to me in the league or not, I don’t know. They told me yesterday that they are surveying all the teams to see who has taken the vaccine and who has not and they are not going to change the rules for us as players until all the teams have had the vaccines at the same time so it’s not a competitive edge. That made me go crazy to be honest. That shows me that now I’ve taken the vaccine and it’s been a tremendously hard time for me through this COVID thing with my mental health condition and they talk about competitive edge instead of human lives. We are humans too.

I have to give credit where credit is due, the NHL has done some really good things too. I love this league, I don’t want to destroy anything, I want this league to do good.

It made me really disappointed and emotional last night and it was a lie to our face, do this and you will get this and now it’s not happening because of competitive edge. Where was competitive edge for the Vancouver Canucks when they wanted three, three, and a half weeks and they get one practice and play one of the best teams in the league in Toronto? Competitive edge when Washington had three of their best players taken away and they still played? We lost one player and they quarantined us for one week, where was competitive edge?

There’s a two-fold problem for me here. The first one is that we get promised something to take something that not necessarily everyone wanted, so that was a lie, a blatant lie. Second to put competitive edge over human lives.

This is about the league as a whole, this is about liability. This is about how they are not going to get sued when it should be about the health of a person. When government, corporations, NHL, whoever are making decisions in terms of irrelevant things like competitive edge over the human being, it’s not ok.

We are vaccinated and we are still going to be trapped in a prison? Being lied to about things changing and kind of forcing us to take the vaccine. Unacceptable. And now that we’ve taken the vaccine to have the excuse to say ‘nah we’re not changing because of competitive advantage’ is outrageous. -Robin Lehner

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  1. Herby

    Lehner should stop crying like a little girl and focus on his job.
    He makes 25 Mio and the rules are the same for all players in the league.


    • f4denz

      How sad that you miss the reality of what he is saying. Maybe someday you will slow down the anger, and listen.

      • John Willobly

        Would your life be any different without the NHL? No! Next Karen!

    • Matt

      It’s the compassion in this reply that really gets me. Way to be a decent human, dude.

    • Miles

      *State imposed lockdowns.

      Fixed it, bud.

      • Dan Reynolds

        You’re a fucking idiot. There, fixed it for you

        • Bret Weeks

          Nope… You’re the idiot. The science does not and never has supported restrictions on healthy people under 60.

          Follow the science and we would’ve shut down nothing like CDC guidance had said prior to politicians and media going nuts in March of 2020. It’s in their own documents. They did it all for political reasons, not science.

    • fred d.

      two different issues

    • Emilio

      Tad bit close minded there.

    • Smoke

      Agree with Herby. The NHL wants all the teams at the same level of rules/restictions. It’s not unreasonable at all to wait to change the restrictions until everyone is at the same status. Lehner getting upset and this exposes his mental health.

      • Smoke

        *Lehner getting upset about this exposes his mental health.

        • Jeff

          I can’t believe he’s surprised he was lied to by someone in authority. Is he not familiar with life?

      • Jinklu

        Lehner’s tantrum was IMO often incoherent, disorganized and self-pitying. Some of his conclusions are downright ridiculous. That makes me skeptical of some of his original claims. I wonder if he is off his meds.

    • Sherm

      I don’t care how many millions of dollars anyone makes, being confined to your home, being made a conditional promise so that you could live your life a little more normal, and the conditional party walks back on their promise, you have every right to be outraged. If your employer made the same promise and didn’t follow through,I’d be surprised if you wouldn’t be angry about it. Good on Lehner for this.

      • Daryl

        They have said since they started the vaccines that just because you are vaccinated doesn’t mean you can’t still pass on the virus. If that really is the case hen it makes sense what the NHL is doing. If Lehner has a problem with it, then he can give up his millions and get a regular job

  2. EK

    I don’t blame him one bit for being pissed off. No matter who it is moving the goal posts, it’s simply unacceptable and it’s got to stop.

    • Miles

      It’s just two weeks to flatten the curve.

    • Cindy Harrison

      I’m not a huge fan of Robin Lehner, But I am a huge fan of his speaking out. All kinds of decisions regarding COVID, throughout all areas of life, have been made by people who have a selfish desired outcome — Not necessarily an outcome that benefits everyone. When it happens from someone you think has your back, that’s just hurtful.

  3. Brian S

    He’s not talking about anything to do with federal or Nevada laws, regulations or mandates. Not sure how so many of you aren’t getting this.

    The NHL is NOT allowing its players to go out in public for anything other than absolutely necessities and/or in the case of emergencies. On the road, they have to remain in the team hotel, etc. THAT is what Lehner is talking about. Apparently the NHL promised they would relax the rules after vaccinations occurred and they’re re-negging it appears.

  4. Wow I just became a Robin Lehner fan. Well done sir, more folks with voices need to call out the madness of this all – get the vaccine and then still hide away and not be allowed to live your life? And the moving goal posts would drive anyone mad.

    I found his candor on this refreshing and I’m guessing it will gain him much respect from teammates, other players in the league, and lots of just plain folks.

    Lots of luck and good wishes to Robin and the VGK down the stretch!

  5. Carl

    It’s definitely tough being locked up in house arrest for a year. But if I’M being paid 5 million a year to be in jail? I’m stocking up on straws and sucking it up.

  6. KC

    Holy shit, so many cynical assholes out there. Just trash.

  7. Tim

    The NHL is wrong and now this competitive edge bullshit. How many concessions are they making for the north division ? There going to extend there season so they don’t play to many back to backs well it’s on you fuckup and pay the price. After vaccination it’s time to be safe but time to expand your boundaries. Whether it’s mental health issues or in my case along with millions of Bands of Brothers where 22 brothers and sisters are committing suicide each day being cooped up isn’t a problem. We are type A personalities and have to have freedom to roam. Now people who haven’t experienced what we have it’s easy to talk if you haven’t walked a mile in our shoes.

    • Carl

      Lehner is locked down per current NHL rules. You’re not. Get out and move about nobody’s stopping you. I’m a veteran too, that has nothing to do with Lehner’s situation.

      • Tim

        Carl they change the rules and let me tell you about this competitive edge bullshit. Holding Payton Krebs back is giving a competitive edge to all other teams. If logic prevailed and you play up to your ability Krebs may be on the Golden Knights right now but for the looney NHL he’s stuck in hell and no one seems to give a shit. They bend the rules to suit them now leaner has exposed there bullship and here comes the coverup.

    • Daryl

      Even if you get vaccinated you can still carry the virus and pass it on. It makes perfect sense to not allow players out when not everyone has been vaccinated. If Lehner is having that much trouble with it, find a regular job and give up your millions

  8. Frank

    Get the players vaccinated and take the restrictions off. It’s well past time to do this. Let them live their lives as they see fit.

  9. Julie

    If the NHL told Lehner and players that after they individually got the vaccine, the restrictions would ease up for the player receiving the vaccine after 10 days, and then after he got it they said, “no, we are waiting until everyone gets it before easing restrictions” – I would be pissed. I can’t tell from the transcript that is what he said though specifically.

    There is an additional problem here and that is how Lehner used his platform to rat out the NHL. Had he taken the issue up the chain first and give them a chance to address it before going public, that would have been better. I can’t tell if he did that either, he just said he talked to the NHLPA yesterday, so probably not. There could a conversation or two behind closed doors on that.

    I don’t fault Lehner for being upset not just because of the competitive advantage bit, but because it’s a tough decision to take a vaccine that is only authorized for experimental use vs existing health concerns.

  10. THE hockey GOD

    ooo oooo, this story is too RICH to pass up. Yessireee !

    The CHIcOM wUhAN bat rat lab virus is a dynamic every changing situation, even Dr Fear, that political dembot , ivory tower, so called head of CDC can’t get his story straight MORE half the time. Fails to think outside the box, gets paid more than anyone else in Federal government, is pretty much clueless, and purely politicizes to cover up for his ineptitude. Not much of an
    “expert” on anything. Well he’s a member of the elitist cult power mongering party in charge now, so he – like every one else in this party- gets a free pass. If he was in private sector his A$$$$ would be gra$$. I could do better than him.

    And you expect Gary Bettman to get it right????

    That is a TALL order indeed.

    A tall order indeed.

    I hope this timing and his comments don’t create an unneeded distraction at this point in the season. Don’t need that at all, at this point.

    PS still working on story in which Bettman moves the stanley cup playoffs to Antartica, the only continent without the aforementioned “virus”.

    • Julie

      You are right about Fauci. Biggest fraud gets biggest pay it seems. There are all kinds of audit trails showing how he scammed Americans with the covid stuff. Pretty impressive for a little dweeb who looks like Alfred E. Neuman.

      • THE hockey GOD

        Julie LOL
        and did you see when he thew out the first pitch?? He throws a baseball like a girl, did you see when he thew out the first pitch….opps…sorry.


        • Julie

          I was embarrassed for him, girl thing aside. :)

          I do see the NHL refuted Lehner’s claim about the restrictions, per an article from ESPN quoting Bill Daly, NHL deputy commissioner. So, this will be interesting.

  11. THE hockey GOD

    “They told me yesterday that they are surveying all the teams to see who has taken the vaccine and who has not and they are not going to change the rules for us as players until all the teams have had the vaccines at the same time so it’s not a competitive edge”

    I have been saying it from day 1, Bettman’s NLH: = neo socialism exposed. Couldn’t have said it better my self.

  12. Vic

    Best 11 minutes I’ve spent in while watching the clip. The Hockey God as usual has things summed up well. This clip points to what many have said for over a year….the cure can be worse than the illness. Yes, protecting the elderly and those with various medical conditions is warranted, but locking up cities, states, and countries leads to what Lehner points to….major problems. Now we witness the lunacy of permanent masks, vaccine certificates, young people getting vaccines, distance requirements changing from 6 feet to 3 feet, people walking around like zombies afraid to take a breath of air.

  13. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Lehner said: “I had a couple of calls with the LEAGUE and with the NHLPA yesterday” So he did in fact talk to the league about this.

    I respect Lehner for speaking his truth regarding this subject. Each of us face this pandemic in different ways and under different restraints.

    • Julie

      He doesn’t mention if he talked to PDB or McPhee or McCrimmon. That’s what I would like to know and what their response was.

  14. Joey Kingpin

    I understand the tremendous difficulty Robin and other players are experiencing as a result of their lockdown. I feel for him. I just believe his rambling public speech today represents a giant distraction right before playoffs though. The front office can’t be pleased.

    • THE hockey GOD

      yeah JK, my sentiment exactly.

      front office will probably mealy mouth it , what else can they do ?

      Meeeal lee
      Mouth O)

      Let’s see how and if Gareee Bet it all Man, responds, or if players union does anything ? Probably hand it off to some players safety protocol “official”.

      Checking NHL site now. Nothing. So far walrus is floating on ice berg in middle of nowhere No response. Oh wait. I see a lonely panda in only bamboo tree left standing on the horizon.

      i am still waiting.

  15. Tim

    Doc said it best in his post were all different and and restraints on all doesn’t work the same for everyone. Some people handle enclosure better some people get cabin fever. I think Lehner exposing there bullshit was a good thing. No one is above the law and if a commitment is made and you break it it’s on you NHL now you can jump ship like the rats you are. Keep it quite keep it in house is bullshit expose them for what they are so into the protection of there mighty North Division everyone else can suffer and they can care less.

    • THE hockey GOD

      “Keep it quite keep it in house is bullshit ” based upon a lot people’s prior posts there will be a lot changing tunes if this becomes a major distraction to the team faster than a NEW YORK minute!! Wait for it !

      pulling a distraction when it’s Fleury’s turn in net, not a team player move at all.

      That is what is real “bull shit” here.

    • Daryl

      Players, fans, all of us get lied to every day. Players get a contract only to be traded away. If Lehner is upset because he was lied to he needs to grow up.

  16. DOC (Go Knights Go)

    Looks like another schedule change has split up the games with the AVs.

    OK, hockey tonight!

    We just need to keep on rolling up the points.

    Flurey needs another good one tonight. I think he will .

  17. Clinton Comets Fan

    I’m glad I watched the 11 minute video on this site. Sites I’m reading this afternoon are interpreting what Robin said with their lead lines. He did not say NHL PROMISED. He certainly has that impression but he didn’t use those words.

    Wonder if anyone else who was in the meeting will chime in.

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