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.**
This is a good thing for both VGK as well as Lehner. I’m glad to see that VGK have him as the VGK start the playoffs. If the VGK win it all or not. Lehner’s story is one that would get over looked if not for these types of write ups. I have been following the back drop on this feature in 411 you have been dropping on us. Your archiving of history for our VGK is very much appreciated by this long time hockey fan.
Great piece Jason! Like many I wish he would be able to stay here long-term. I know that’s going to be tuff. So right now, we DO have him and there’s no doubt he is going to help us try and get the cup. As far as future? I still have this thought in my head that IF we win the cup, flower may retire. With all he has faced this season … I think his 4th cup just might be the topping for him to retire. If that happens then retaining panda becomes much more realistic! For now though, I just want these two to play lights out and lead the boys to that elusive STANLEY CUP!!!!!
Vegas needs to look at the longterm here. They have a top tier goaltender in Lehner. He’ll be winning NHL games for five years after Marc Andre is retired. How to fit all the young talent in under the cap? Buyout the last year of MAF and Stastney’s contracts, trade Tuch for a draft choice. That’s about 15 million in signing money. Sign Cousins, Stevenson, Lehner, Nosek. Move Stevenson up to the Pac/Stone line. Now you have depth, speed, and youth for the next decade.
Mostly agree except Tuch. He has way more upside … and is going to be very good for a long time.
Buyouts still count against the cap. You need to give teams an incentive to take players to get cap relief. Knights don’t want to give up picks because they just gave up so many in recent trades. So they would need to give teams an incentive such as a a player like Statsny or MAF and a prospect to get cap relief.
Buyouts count against the CAP but I believe by less than half. No Team will take Fluery at $7 mil or Stastny at $6.5 mil. To get rid of these guys Vegas would need to pay most of the salary plus a draft choice. Too expensive. Buyouts to keep Lehner. The payoff is the next 6 years of solid goaltending. If not, Vegas has regression in Fluery’s last two years and nothing in the net after that. If you don’t have goaltending, forget it.
Tuch ……….. $4.75 mil to be on LTIR. $4.75 mil for 8 goals? Can’t afford to waste cash on the injury prone. Way too fragile. While Vegas can, move him for a draft choice, save the money. With $4.75 mil, Vegas is 60% closer to Lehner.
Well Ken where there’s smoke there’s fire. More and more articles showing Lehner wants to work something out with the Knights. He seems to like the team, town, and organization and staying here practicing for the last 5 weeks is a good indication of him getting comfortable in Vegas.
If Lehner and Krebs have a good playoffs I could see the Knights shipping off Statsny and a prospect like Glass to get the money to sign Lehner. Krebs will take Statsny’s place. VGK could trade MAF and a lower prospect to make room for Lehner.
David, Statsny yes I wouldn’t give up on Glass he has the tools just needs to bulk up. The way I see it next year we have Jack Dugan, Cody Glass, Peyton Krebs, and Lucas Elvenes as possible replacements for Statsny.
I hate to say it but trade soon to be 36 year old Fleury while you still can and lock Lehner up.
Trade Fluery? No Team will take on the 36 old and his $7 mil contract for two more years. Save percentage near .900. Goalies paid $7 mil have S% of .925. Maybe if Vegas throws in two future first round draft choices. There’s no takers for Fluery. Buyout is the only way to move his contract.