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New York Islanders Free Agent Target: Robin Lehner

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BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 7: Robin Lehner #40 of the Buffalo Sabres makes the save against Sam Bennett #93 of the Calgary Flames during the third period at KeyBank Center on March 7, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 7: Robin Lehner #40 of the Buffalo Sabres makes the save against Sam Bennett #93 of the Calgary Flames during the third period at KeyBank Center on March 7, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
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With free agency looming, the New York Islanders should focus their sights on acquiring a new goaltender and Robin Lehner is a quality candidate.

It’s no secret that the New York Islanders were a failure on defense in the 2017-2018 season. They were ranked last in goals against at 296 and crippled their elite offense with hundreds of mistakes in their own zone throughout the year. While there’s no doubt that the skaters hold some responsibility, defense is nothing without a good goalie.

This offseason, it would be incredibly wise for Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders to work on upgrading their net minding duo. After Thomas Greiss’ terrible season, with the likelihood of Jaroslav Halak walking increasing by the day, and Ilya Sorokin still nowhere to be found, the team will have to look outside of the organization.

Why Robin Lehner

Many have speculated about making a trade for Washington Capitals goalie, Phillip Grubauer but it is always easier to pursue a free agent than to try to negotiate with another party and lose assets. This is why Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner would be a good candidate for the Islanders to look in to.

Lehner was recently announced as becoming an unrestricted free agent as of July 1st, having rejected the qualifying offer from his current team. This would make him an easier target. He could very well start 50 games for the New York Islanders in the coming season.

While save percentage and goals against average do no tell the entire story, Lehner’s are admittedly not the most encouraging. Posting a final of a .908 SV% and a 3.01 GAA, Lehner’s stats are similar to that of Halak. However, Lehner has been known to thrive with a quality top six in front of him. In 2016 and 2017, he had a .920 SV%. With any sort of upgrade on defense, he could return to this form.

Next: An Open Letter To Management

If the Islanders are unable to trade for Grubauer in the draft days ahead, it would be smart for them to seriously consider adding Robin Lehner to their team.

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