The first name on this list had been linked to the Carolina Hurricanes since the summer of 2018. As a UFA, Robin Lehner was coming off a three year stint with the Buffalo Sabres where he posted a record of 42-61-22 in 133 appearances.
Dealing with personal issues while playing on a rebuilding team, Lehner was looking for a change in scenery to both get his life and career back on track. Opting to sign a one year “prove it” deal with the New York Islanders, he did just that.
Going 25-13-5 with a save percentage of .930 in his lone season on Long Island, he finished the season third in Vezina voting, while winning both the Jennings (fewest goals against) and Masterton (perseverance and sportsmanship) trophies.
Testing waters once again this past offseason, the Hurricanes were right there among the suitors for his services. Signing another one year “prove it” deal with the Chicago Blackhawks this time around, the Canes continued to keep close tabs on Lehner throughout the season, often calling to see his availability at the deadline.
With both James and Petr going down right before trade deadline day, many thought that Carolina would finally pull the trigger on a deal, finally making him a Hurricane. As we all know, this never happened, as he would end up getting dealt to Vegas instead.
Appearing in a handful of games for the Golden Knights before the postponement of the NHL season, Lehner looked to have taken the starting reigns from Marc-Andre Fleury with a GAA of 1.67 and a save percentage of .940.
On record stating that he’s done looking for one year deals and wants long term stability, it remains to be seen if he has a future in Vegas. Almost seven years younger than Fleury, it is possible that he re-signs and the duo forms one of the leagues’ best 1A/1B tandems until Marc-Andre calls it a career.
However, if he enters the market for the third year in a row, could the Hurricanes once again come calling for his services?