New York Islanders: Robin Lehner’s Impact on Fans Was More Than In Net
The New York Islanders said goodbye to goalie Robin Lehner. To many, Lehner will always be an inspiration for what he overcame and accomplished.
It has been a crazy and disappointing start to this summer’s free agency signing period. The New York Islanders missed on Artemi Panarin and Robin Lehner left in a confusing circumstance. Fans feel that Lehner should have and could have stayed with the Islanders.
Lehner’s challenges and success have been well documented this season. Not only will the Islanders miss Lehner in goal this year, but I am sure that he will be missed in the locker room for his personal perseverance and inspiration.
One of the things I am most impressed with Robin Lehner was his willingness to so publicly disclose and share his issues with the team and the fans, and the proper support and praise he received for it. More importantly and I think quietly, it validated to those sitting in the seats that it is okay to struggle with addiction and mental illness and still be successful and thrive.
I have learned in my own life that disclosure is therapeutic and that most people recognize and appreciate life’s challenges, and though there will always be those that judge, for the most part, our friends and family are supportive and helpful.
I also believe the most difficult part for those facing challenges like Robin, is disclosing issues they may feel shame or embarrassment about with their loved ones and friends. But like Lehner showed, it is amazing how often disclosure frees someone to be themselves and allows them to seek the help and support they need to start to move forward.
Robin Lehner did that a year ago. I have no doubt that over the past year there was a New York Islanders fan who used Robin’s inspiration and honesty to help themselves seek the appropriate help they may have needed to start their own healing. That could be Robin Lehner’s biggest contribution to the New York Islanders.
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Thank you, Robin, for that inspiration and we wish you the best of luck in both your hockey and life journey.