Robin Lehner has shutout another opponent, blanking the Dallas Stars last night to even the Western Conference Finals at a game apiece. That was Lehner’s fourth shutout of the postseason, raising his overall save percentage to .924 and lowering his goals-against-average to a measly 1.84. The big trade acquisition has been outstanding for the Golden Knights since arriving, which makes it easy to see why the team is trying to keep him around long-term.
Jesse Granger of The Athletic writes that talks have already begun between the Golden Knights and Lehner on a long-term extension, though it’s not clear exactly what price tag a new contract would come with. A move of that nature however would likely spell the end of Marc-Andre Fleury’s time in Vegas, if only because it would be too expensive to keep them both on the roster. Fleury, who has also performed well in his lessened role this postseason, has two more years on his contract at a $7MM cap hit and holds a 10-team no-trade clause.
- Another legendary goaltender may be getting pushed out this offseason, as Rick Carpiniello of The Athletic writes that Henrik Lundqvist’s career with the New York Rangers is coming to an end as the team “must buy him out and they know it.” Lundqvist has just a single year left on his contract but has been passed by two different young goaltenders in New York. A buyout would save the Rangers just $3MM of his $8.5MM cap hit in 2020-21 and force a $1.5MM penalty onto the books for 2021-22.
- If Lehner re-signs with the Golden Knights, and the Vancouver Canucks manage to bring back Jacob Markstrom as they indicated yesterday, the free agent pool for goaltenders suddenly doesn’t look quite as impressive. Sure, there are still plenty of names available like Thomas Greiss, Anton Khudobin, and Cam Talbot, but if Markstrom and Lehner both re-up with their current teams it is going to leave Braden Holtby as the only UFA starter that isn’t already in his mid-thirties. That can only help Holtby’s market, but it also could lead more teams to consider the trade route with options like Matt Murray and Frederik Andersen both potentially on the market.