The New York Islanders addressed their goalie issue by signing former Buffalo Sabres goalie Robin Lehner to a one-year contract.
The 2017-2018 New York Islanders were flat out atrocious in net. Thomas Greiss, Jaroslav Halak, and Chris Gibson combined for a .903 save percentage and a 3.42 goals against average. They were by far the worst trifecta in net in the league.
Sure, we can argue all day long about whether it was the goalie play or defensive play, similar to the great chicken or the egg debate, but nonetheless, the Islanders went out and added a goalie who should be their starter this season.
Robin Lehner signed a one-year $1.25 million deal with the Islanders after the Sabres decided not to offer him a new contract as an RFA.
This deal is fantastic for the Islanders. It’s only one year so if he’s bad it doesn’t harm the long-term future of the team. If he shines, then you can extend him for more years and more money. Simple.
Additionally, the money is an absolute steal. The 26-year-old goalie made $4 million last year so clearly, this is a significant discount for a someone who is perceived to be your starter. Granted, he is coming off a down year.
In 53 games he had a .908 save percentage and a 3.01 goals against average. Keep in mind this was the worst team in the league. Let’s not forget two years ago when he had an impressive .920 save percentage and a 2.68 goals against average on the lowly Sabres. The talent is in there, he just was in a bad situation.
If you want to get into advanced stuff, Lehner had a high danger save percentage of 77.88 percent last year. That was higher than Matt Murray, Roberto Luongo, Marc-Andre Fleury, and Braden Holtby.
Lehner has a bit of a reputation as a hot head. So much so that there’s a four-minute youtube video of “Robin Lehner: Angry Moments”:
Look at this guy, it’s a scary sight
His floor is an average to slightly below average starting caliber goalie, while his ceiling is a guy who can give you 50 plus starts and have a save percentage over .920.
I really think this signing has good value. It addresses an obvious need, it’s not a long-term deal and it’s extremely cost-effective. This is Lou Lamoriello’s best signing to date.