One of the more interesting storylines in the NHL’s return to play playoff tournament is the extra chance it gives to players who were acquired at the trade deadline. Those that switched residence at the end of February were only given two weeks—usually just a handful of games—to show their new teams what they could do before the entire league shut down. One of those players was Robin Lehner, who went from the Chicago Blackhawks to the Vegas Golden Knights (via Toronto) and ended up playing in just three games before the season ended.
Lehner, who stopped 78 of 83 saves (a .940 save percentage) in those three games, also happens to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The playoffs then represent his last chance to show the Golden Knights why he deserves to be re-signed, something he hopes will happen according to Danny Webster of NHL.com. Lehner pointed directly to the dedication he has seen out of his new teammates as they prepare for the upcoming playoffs as a reason he’d like to stay longer. While the Golden Knights have a complex cap situation to deal with next season, there’s no doubt that Lehner will be one of the most sought-after goaltenders on the market should the team let him walk into free agency.
- One of Lehner’s old teammates in Chicago won’t get the chance to show what he can do, as Dennis Gilbert has announced he requires surgery on his wrist and will not play again this season. The 23-year old defenseman was just getting his NHL career underway, playing in 21 games with the Blackhawks this season. That’s all he’ll get for 2019-20 as he’ll now have to look forward to next year.
- Another former Blackhawk is looking for a new job, after CSKA Moscow released Jiri Sekac today. The veteran of 115 NHL games has played in the KHL for the last four seasons, putting up excellent numbers and winning the Gagarin Cup in 2018. He may not be waiting for a job long, as recently a report surfaced in the Czech Republic that Sekac would be joining Avangard Omsk for the 2020-21 season.