It seems a bit crazy to think so, but Jesse Granger of The Athletic took a look at the Vegas Golden Knights and their option in net. More specifically, whether or not the organization might choose to move forward with Marc-Andre Fleury, Robin Lehner or someone else.
Granger discussed the chances of the Golden Knights running with Lehner, the somewhat controversial, but talented goalie they acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks in February at the NHL Trade Deadline. For some reason, he can’t seem to find a home in the NHL or get the money he’s looking for, despite some pretty impressive numbers. With the NHL season on hold and playoff games looking less and less likely, the Golden Knights won’t get to take advantage of a tandem that could have taken the team deep in a chase for this year’s Stanley Cup.
As such, if Lehner hardly plays for the Golden Knights, it would be a bit harder than normal to pay assets for a player that just walks in free agency. And, with Lehner being 28 years old and Fleury 35, is it time for the Golden Knights to shift direction? Granger explains that if, by some chance, the playoffs do happen again, this might be a storyline to watch. He notes [subscription required]:
If Lehner outplays Fleury in the postseason, it presents an option to sign Lehner to a long-term contract and perhaps move Fleury. That would be the most shocking move in franchise history and this team just fired Gerard Gallant to hire the coach of its hated rival just a few months ago.
Granger admits the more likely option is that the Golden Knights let Lehner go and stick with Fleury who is still a top-quality goaltender in the NHL. In fact, it would take an incredible run from Lehner and some major faltering by Fleury for the Golden Knights to make such a controversial move.
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