In case you missed the news yesterday, the Vegas Golden Knights announced that goaltender Robin Lehner will miss the entire 2022-23 season as he recovers from hip surgery.
This is obviously devastating news for the franchise and will seriously hamper their ability to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The 31 year old netminder has seen somewhat limited action since arriving in Vegas back in 2020. First, because he was battling for ice time with Marc Andre Fleury and then battling with injury. It seems now that his injuries have finally caught up with him enough that he'll require an ENTIRE season off. Just shocking news, really.
Even more shocking is that fact that Vegas put all of their eggs in one basket by signing Lehner to a long term deal and shipping out Fleury, the then Vezina reigning goaltender, last offseason. Now Vegas is left with literally ZERO NHL goaltenders as backup Laurent Brossoit is also on the injured reserve. Just a year ago though they boasted arguably the best tandem in the league with Lehner and Fleury. Reminds me of when the Vancouver Canucks went from having Roberto Luongo and Cory Schneider to Eddie Lack and a rookie Jacob Markstrom. Not exactly the best upgrade.
As for available options, the goalie free agent market has pretty much been tapped out. The only real option amongst free agents who played in actual NHL games last season is veteran Braden Holtby. The 32 year old netminder was decent in his stint with the Dallas Stars, but was surpassed by youngster Jake Oettinger. Given the lack of available options, I suspect Holtby's agent will be getting a call with a Sin City area code shortly.
TSN reporter Shawn Simpson seems to think that Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price could be an option, though. When a fan online speculated that Price of Florida Panthers netminder Sergei Bobrovsky could be an option, Simpsons replied saying that he could see Price being an option so long as the Habs eat some of his $10.5 million cap hit.
Honestly... I don't see it.
Not only has Price barely seen any action in the past calendar year, he has four more years on the books at $10.5 million per season. Oh... and he's 34 years old. Even if the Habs ate 50% of Price's contract does Vegas really want to commit to four years at $5.25 million to an aging goaltender with injury problems? I can't see it. But then again... this is Vegas and they have a penchant for pulling off crazy moves.