Robin Lehner has found a long-term home in Sin City, as the Las Vegas Golden Knights have answered the question of who will replace aging franchise goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.
Lehner, ranked as the No. 5 free agent by TSN, signed a 5-year, $25 million deal with the Golden Knights on Saturday.
Lehner, 29, has played for four other teams – mostly non-contenders in Ottawa, Buffalo, Chicago and Long Island – before being traded to Vegas in February. Lehner made three starts for the Golden Knights before coronavirus shut down all sports. He was named the Knights’ playoff starter over 35-year-old Fleury, who has been the face of the franchise ever since being selected in their expansion draft in 2017. He went 9-7 in 16 starts as VGK lost to the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference Finals.
Lehner has had a well-publicized struggle with mental illness in his career.
Fleury has had a storied career, being selected No. 1 overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2003. He won three Stanley Cups with the Penguins but was supplanted by youngster Matt Murray in their Cup runs in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
Fleury gave instant credibility to hockey in the desert and was a fan favorite, as No. 29 Fleury jerseys can be seen all over the strip and on the backs of locals. The Bellagio even made a chocolate statue of the goaltender, who led the Knights to a remarkable first season that ended with a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals.
No word on the reaction of Fleury’s agent, Allan Walsh, who tweeted a shocking Photoshop of Fleury impaled by a bloody sword through his back when it was announced that Lehner would be the playoff starter.