I've said it before, but there are few people who had a bigger impact on the Islanders and their fans in such a short time like Robin Lehner. He spent just one year on the Island, 2018-2019, but he loved it and he was beloved for what he did both on and off the ice.
On the ice, Lehner was great going 25-13-5 with a .930 save percentage and a 2.13 goals against average on the season. He finished third in Vezina voting that year but took home the Jennings Trophy with Thomas Greiss and the Masterton as well.
The Masterton was for his transparency and honesty about his substance abuse issues and his mental health. It even led to one of my favorite award show speeches ever.
It still gives me chills over two years later. Well, believe it or not, Robin Lehner is returning to Long Island for the first time since his lone season as an Islander. In 2019-2020 he was traded from Chicago to Vegas.
As a result, he only played the Islanders in Chicago that year before the shutdown. Last year, the Islanders played only in the East in their modified divisions so there was never an opportunity for him to return. That changes on Sunday.
Vegas is coming for an afternoon game to UBS Arena, and it's safe to say that the return will be welcomed fondly from both sides. Here's what Lehner had to say about it.
He's said all of these things before but clearly there is a mutual respect between Islanders fans and Robin Lehner. It's a shame that he only spent that one season with the team but man, was it a special one and one that both he and the fans will remember for a very long time.
I for one, expect a standing ovation and a little pregame acknowledgement from the fans. Thanks for everything once again, Robin we look forward to seeing you on Sunday.