Robin Lehner – Free Agent signing in July 2019
One move that came as a shock towards the end of Free Agent Frenzy on July 1 was the Blackhawks signing Robin Lehner, the Vezina Trophy finalist and winner of the Jennings Trophy (lowest goals against), as well as the Bill Masterton Trophy (sportsmanship award).
An excellent signing for stability in net. Delia isn’t quite ready to be an NHL goalie just yet. A backup goalie was on the Hawks’ radar, though it may not have been a top priority going into free agency.
The question is, if Lehner is able to replicate the season he had last year, and right away, the answer is that he probably cannot.
In 46 games last year with the New York Islanders, he had a 25-13-5 record with a .930 save percentage, as well as .936 save percentage in 8 playoff games (4-4).
Under head coach Barry Trotz, the Islanders play a very defense-first structure where they give up very little high-scoring chances.
It’s a very beneficial style for a goaltender, but I’m not completely sold on that being a large contributing factor into why Lehner was so successful last year. He’s a big goaltender and uses his size to his advantage.
Coming to Chicago, a team who has been struggling defensively, Lehner will face more scoring opportunities.
He did look a little shaky in his first preseason game against Detroit, including the first goal he let in that was simply a misplay.
However, he looked much better Saturday night against the Bruins, earning first star honors after making 39 saves on 41 shots.
In the end, it was a fantastic move to bring him in and shore up the goaltending position for at least the 2019-2020 campaign.