The Blackhawks made a late opening day splash in the free agency market by signing goalie Robin Lehner to a one-year, $5 million AAV deal on Monday evening.
Here's what you need to know about the newest member of the Blackhawks.
TOP OF HIS GAME
Lehner posted a career-best season in 2018-19 with 25 wins, a 2.13 goals against average, six shutouts and a .930 save percentage that set an Islanders single-season record. He was named a finalist for the 2019 Vezina Trophy and the Islanders goaltending tandem of Lehner and Thomas Greiss won the 2019 William Jennings Trophy for allowing the fewest goals allowed in the NHL (196).
SOMETHING TO PROVE
While speaking to the media on Monday evening, Stan Bowman mentioned that it's not often you can acquire a goalie of Lehner's caliber in the free agent market. Lehner added that he's just entering the prime of his career at 27 years old and, in signing a one-year deal with Chicago, is more than willing to put his money where his mouth is, literally.
"I don't see it as a gamble at all," Lehner said, speaking to his contract length when many thought he was a lock for a multi-year deal. "It's only a gamble if you don't believe you can play well. I'm not in a rush. It's a good fit for us and the organization and it's a good carrot for me to prove myself."
Also the winner of the 2019 Masterton Trophy, Lehner has been open about his past struggle with addiction and mental health, writing an incredible first-hand account of his struggles in The Athletic prior to the start of the 2018-19 season. Not only did he finish the season as a Vezina Trophy finalist for the league's top goalie, but he has used his platform as a high-caliber NHL goalie to raise awareness for those going through similar circumstances.
"I think it's just starting," Lehner said of the message he is hoping to send while accepting the award at last month's NHL Awards in Las Vegas. "There's so much more that needs to be done. It's just encouraging to see more and more people are talking about it. There's a lot more work to be done. It's fine to talk about it and all, but changes need to be made."