Blackhawks: Could Robin Lehner make a return in 2020?

Robin Lehner, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Robin Lehner, Chicago Blackhawks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

After being traded to Vegas, Robin Lehner becomes a free agent this summer. Could Lehner make a return to the Chicago Blackhawks?

Robin Lehner was signed a one-year deal with the Chicago Blackhawks in the summer of 2019. It was a key signing for the Blackhawks, as they let goalie Cam Ward go, needing a solid backup for Corey Crawford.

Lehner was everything and then some for the Blackhawks. They were getting a goalie that potentially could have been their starter going forward. Lehner was a top goalie during the 2019 season, him coming to Chicago was a gift to fans.

As most gifts come with a ‘gift receipt’, Lehner did too. At the trade deadline, Lehner was shipped to Vegas, which wasn’t announced until after 3 PM EST.

Fans ranged from anger to believing Lehner wouldn’t have signed in Chicago anyway. The one I loved was “he’s too expensive” even after it came out that he was willing to take less money to stay in Chicago.

If I was Lehner, I don’t know if I’d want to return to a team that traded me a few months prior. He would at least need a no-movement clause to feel comfortable signing. It’s rough on players to have to get up and move every year after a season.

Would Lehner still take less money to come back to Chicago? I wouldn’t think so after he was betrayed like that.

Lehner did admit he was surprised by the trade as he had “high hopes” in Chicago. That could be enough to have him at least consider a return to the team. Still, I don’t think he should sign anywhere that would have him slotted as the backup goalie. The Blackhawks would have to be moving on from Crawford.

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So, would I take him back? Heck yeah. Will he be coming back? I wouldn’t bet on it.