It is very, very, strange to me that veteran goaltender Robin Lehner has been unable to secure any type of long term stability in the National Hockey League in spite of the fact that he has been one of the league's most consistent netminders in recent years. Instead of securing that stability Lehner has instead bounced from one team to another, each time seemingly playing well enough to earn that security but each time ending up on the open market or even traded.
Most recently Lehner was dealt by the Chicago Blackhawks, this in spite of the questions surrounding the long term health of goaltender Corey Crawford, to the Las Vegas Golden Knights where he is currently poised to go on a playoff run with that organization. Given that the Golden Knights already have a very well respected starter in Marc Andre Fleury it seems less than likely that the Golden Knights will offer Lehner any type of long term deal before he hits the open market yet again. The question now of course becomes where will Legner end up this time? Recently TSN analyst Craig Custance was asked that very question and suggested that Lehner could return to a familiar place.
"The Ottawa Senators, right where he started his career. He would return there in a very different place, not only on the ice; the last two seasons he has been an exceptional goaltender, but also off the ice in terms of what he has done in his life," said Button as per TSN. When you look at the Ottawa Senators, a young team, they have no goaltender in their system that is the caliber Robin Lehner. It would be a nice fit to push them along a little bit further as they become a contender."
It is a very interesting take on the part of Button and one that actually makes sense in light of what has transpired over the past several months. Given that the NHL's salary cap will remain stagnant not many teams will be in a position in which they could make Lehner a long term offer, but his former team would be among the few teams that could do just that. There is a question of whether or not owner Eugene Melnyk would be willing to open up the purse strings for such a move, but it certainly would go a long way to improving his team and theoretically putting buts back in the seats.