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Islanders Free Agency

New York Islanders: Ilya Sorokin Effect On Robin Lehner Contract

GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 25: Ilya Sorokin #31 of Olympic Athlete from Russia warms up before the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game against Germany on day sixteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 25, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
GANGNEUNG, SOUTH KOREA - FEBRUARY 25: Ilya Sorokin #31 of Olympic Athlete from Russia warms up before the Men's Ice Hockey Gold Medal Game against Germany on day sixteen of the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games at Gangneung Hockey Centre on February 25, 2018 in Gangneung, South Korea. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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If the New York Islanders are serious about bringing over Ilya Sorokin from Russia what does that mean for the Robin Lehner negotiations?

Free agency is just less than three weeks away and time is winding down for the New York Islanders to extend their pending UFA’s before they hit free agency. Arthur Staple brought up an interesting point in his latest for The Athletic.

In these negotiations, we might be forgetting the Ilya Sorokin factor. Lou Lamoriello has expressed interest in bringing over the prolific goalie prospect, which could finally happen after this season.

Sorokin’s KHL deal expires after this season and is there a better goalie situation than working with Mitch Korn and Piero Greco? He’s already a star in the KHL and if anyone can make him better it’s those two.

Last year, Sorokin put up a .940 save percentage and a 1.16 goals against average. His worst save percentage since joining the KHL is a .929. Will that be able to translate to the NHL? We have no idea, but at just 23 years old it might be worth a look.

Lamoriello might take the risk and let Lehner walk, if the asking price gets too high, and then bring in a stop gap like a Cam Talbot for one more year to pair with Thomas Greiss before they go all-in on Ilya Sorokin after this year.

For me, it’s too much of a risk. I’d be willing to give Robin Lehner a five-year deal and ride with him as my number one goalie. You know what he is at the NHL level and a five-year deal would take him through his age 32 season, so he likely won’t be washed up at any point during this contract.

I get the appeal of Sorokin, I really do. I just would feel more comfortable riding this out with Lehner who seemed to fit extremely well on the Island.

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