Robin Lehner Ready For Undefined Role With Hawks

Lehner arrives as the Blackhawks' second goaltender on a one-year deal.

Bernstein & McKnight Show
July 24, 2019 - 4:03 pm
Robin Lehner

Brad Penner/USA Today Sports

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(670 The Score) The Blackhawks' signing of goaltender Robin Lehner was a surprise around the hockey world, not only because of Corey Crawford's place as Chicago's starter in net but also because Lehner wasn't expected to leave the New York Islanders.

Nevertheless, Lehner landed with the Blackhawks on a one-year deal worth $5 million and found a place alongside Crawford. Does he expect to play a certain number of games this season?

"That's not really how the conversations go," Lehner said on the Bernstein & McKnight Show on Wednesday. "But I was in a fairly good position. (General manager Stan Bowman) called me, and we had a really good conversation -- really good conversations with the coach too. I've always like the city. It's been one of my favorite cities throughout my career to come visit and play in. Obviously, they have a great team.

"I've played in so many different settings, from being a backup to battling for games, being a 1A, 1B starter, I just saw this as a good opportunity for me to keep being happy, playing in the league, help a team win. I want to be on a successful team that's going to make the playoffs.

"It's going to be up to myself to see how many games I can play or not. If I play well, I think I would be able to play. As I've said before, Crawford is an amazing goaltender and I hope he stays healthy and we can just have a successful year together."

Lehner, who turned 28 on Wednesday, had a 2.13 goals against average and .930 save percentage in 43 games with the Islanders last season.

Health issues with Crawford have hampered the Blackhawks as they have missed the playoffs the last two years. He has played in only a combined 67 games over the past two seasons while dealing with multiple concussions. 

In Lehner, the Blackhawks add a strong backup option. He sees the right fit in Chicago.

"I've always heard that it's a great organization," Lehner said. "I like the vibe, I like everything around them, everything they do, everything they have in place just for my continued path of success and being happy, all these things. It just felt right."