The Golden Knights and veteran goaltender Robin Lehner did their best to deny this one, but it sounds like all of the insiders and pundits who reported that the two sides had agreed upon a deal prior to the National Hockey League's playoff bubble were right on the money.
According to a breaking news report from TSN insider Frank Seravalli, it appears as though Robin Lehner has indeed agreed to a new contract with the Las Vegas Golden Knights, with Seravalli reporting that the official announcement will be made at some point later in the day on Saturday. At the time that the rumors began circulating about Lehner's new contract the reports were that he had agreed to a 5 year deal that would pay him an average annual value of $5 million per season. Those rumors were of course denied by the player and the team, but wouldn't you know it Seravalli is now reporting that this deal will be a 5 year deal worth a total of $25 million. That is truly an amazing coincidence when you really stop to think about it.
All jokes aside though this move will no doubt have ramifications far beyond those for just the Golden Knights. The Golden Knights have secured what could very well have been the hottest free agent goaltender in a saturated goalie market this offseason and they may have also just signaled to the rest of the league that, one way or another, veteran goaltender Marc Andre Fleury will be available in the offseason. Fleury is currently costing the Golden Knights $7 million against the cap, and will do so for each of the next two seasons, and I simply do not believe that the team will carry $12 million in salary between the pipes come next season.
I would strongly suspect that the Golden Knights will first look to try and trade Fleury's contract, a move that would unquestionably require them to retain a significant portion of Fleury's salary, and if they fail to find a suitable partner for a trade they will exercise a buyout to get out from under that deal.
Stay tuned, this story is far from over.