Last season went down as the worst statistical season Robin Lehner had during his time as a Buffalo Sabres goaltender, registering just a .908 save percentage while putting together a 14-26-9 record. His struggles weren’t just localized in the crease though, as the 27-year old explained in an incredibly open and honest piece for The Athletic today. Lehner revealed struggles with mental health and alcoholism that he has dealt with for some time, and only just started getting help for.
Though his departure from the Sabres at the end of the year may have been surprising given the team invested a first-round pick in him a few years earlier when they acquired him from the Ottawa Senators, Lehner explains it was anything but contentious. Sabres GM Jason Botterill has apparently stayed in touch with Lehner all offseason to make sure things were trending in the right direction for him, and the New York Islanders have embraced him as part of their squad for this season.
- Auston Matthews doesn’t have a long-term extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs yet, but that doesn’t mean he’s not committed to being with the team for a long time. Newcomer John Tavares confirmed as much in an interview alongside Matthews, telling Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman that the young forward’s commitment was part of the selling process on Toronto. The two star centers seem comfortable with each other already and easily deflected any questions about the Maple Leafs captaincy going forward.
- Matthews’ teammate William Nylander on the other hand is still not under contract and won’t be at the start of training camp as he continues his negotiations. Head coach Mike Babcock and GM Kyle Dubas both downplayed the situation by indicating that there are many players who go through this process around the league, but wouldn’t give an update as to when the Maple Leafs can expect Nylander on the ice. The young forward is looking for a long-term contract to secure his future in Toronto but there have been reports of a substantial gap between the two sides.