It’s been Goaltending Month here at SinBin. Earlier this month we examined the offseason decisions the Golden Knights front office will have to make in net. Last week was focused on cap percentage and how much is the right amount to spend on goaltending. So, let’s continue Tendy Month by getting some insight from Vegas’ exceptional backup goaltender as he addressed his future with the Golden Knights.
On Ottawa radio, unrestricted free agent to be Robin Lehner explained his desire to find a permanent address this offseason.
I’m looking for the right set up for me and my family. I got a five year-old and a two-year-old. My five-year-old has been to five different teams. I feel like I deserve to get some stability for me and my family. -Lehner on TSN Ottawa
It’s been a journey for Lehner. At 29 years-old with ten years of NHL service, the goaltender hasn’t found a location to settle down in.
We will see what happens and what makes sense for me and my family. To say I that need X amount of years or dollars, it’s kind of not what it’s been for me. I just try to perform as good as I can and I think I’ve done that throughout my career. I’ve had some other issues obviously but I’ve also taken the steps and been very serious about those steps and I’ve bounced back and I’ve shown that I’m on a really good path which is only getting better and better. -Lehner
The former Senator, Sabre, Islander, and Blackhawk is proud of success on and off the ice and feels he’s earned the opportunity to find a permanent NHL address. Especially, for his wife and kids.
I believe that I’ve proven my statistics for a long time and that I’m a very reliable goaltender… We’ll see what opens up and what makes sense for me and my family. We’re excited to see what happens this offseason. -Lehner
Can the playoffs do anything to help leverage Lehner’s future contract negotiations? Will he need to compete with Marc-Andre Fleury for playing time and excel in the postseason?
I don’t really look at it that way. I’m ready to perform if they need me. It’s good to push yourself and each other… I came in here, Marc-Andre Fleury he’s one of the best. I have great respect for him. He’s obviously the face of the franchise here. I’m here to just be ready if they need me. -Lehner
Lehner's new pads are making their Phase 3 debut. pic.twitter.com/6z1rfdFi9r
— SinBin.vegas (@SinBinVegas) July 14, 2020
Not only does the Jennings trophy winner feel confident about his current team, but felt his previous teams were widely talented as well.
Yeah it’s a pretty good leadership here, really good talent… It’s definitely up there. I thought we had a legitimate good chance with Long Island last season. Playing in Chicago this year before I got traded we had our ups and downs but it’s an incredibly talented team too. Especially offensively… They can be quite a bit of an underdog.-Lehner
The Blackhawks are one of the teams that will likely be a buyer for a goaltender in free agency. They know him, but the question remains, does Chicago management want him back?
I thought there was a future there, and I did everything to get a future there, and I still couldn’t get a future there. In the end, the last couple weeks were tough mentally to kind of find a motivation needed.-Lehner, February 26th
Time will tell what team Lehner will end up signing with. The situation doesn’t seem set up for a long term partnership with Vegas but it’s still a possibility. Other maneuverings would have to take place (including probably trading Fleury) but as of right now we’ll have to follow the numbers. Lehner’s asking price will immediately be way above the Golden Knights limit. However, it wouldn’t be a total surprise if the free agent started games in the postseason. After all, the organization did reverse their strategy and traded for him and his expiring contract. Heck, Lehner could lead Vegas to the Stanley Cup and still walk.
If we’ve learned anything over the past three years, anything’s possible.
**The full interview on TSN 1200 can be found here. As is the case with most Robin Lehner interviews, it’s well worth a listen.**