After inking a one-year deal within the low season, Robin Lehner is free to signal an extension at any second with the Blackhawks. There’s been no contract discuss but, and now Chicago has a call to make with the deadline looming.Robin Lehner|Glenn James/NHLI through Getty ImagesThree weeks have handed since Jan. 1, which was the primary day the Chicago Blackhawks may negotiate a long-term extension with goalie Robin Lehner, however the two sides haven’t even spoken up to now. That ought to not come as a shock, for a number of causes. Nevertheless it’s about to get much more difficult. Don’t anticipate the subsequent 4 weeks to be as tranquil because the previous three.
When the calendar turned to 2020, the Blackhawks had been 18-17-6 and holding down 13th place within the Western Convention. They seemed to be on a course that will see them be sellers on the commerce deadline, which impacted Lehner’s scenario. However going into tonight’s recreation towards the Florida Panthers, the Blackhawks have gone 7-Three-Zero within the 10 video games since, which features a five-game profitable streak. Three factors in arrears of the ultimate wildcard spot and 4 factors behind the third-place workforce within the Central Division, the NHL’s hottest workforce may be very a lot again within the playoff race. And with this group of Stanley Cup winners, who is aware of what the Blackhawks may accomplish in the event that they made the playoffs?
The Blackhawks ought to have a reasonably good thought of their playoff possibilities by the point the commerce deadline rolls round Feb. 24. They’ve a gruelling schedule in February, with all however three of their 14 video games away from the United Heart. However they’ve really been a greater workforce on the highway than at house this season. Not together with tonight’s recreation, they’ve 11 extra video games, eight of them on the highway.
So the image ought to turn out to be somewhat clearer within the coming weeks. If the Blackhawks are nonetheless in playoff rivalry, there’s no method they even consider buying and selling Lehner. They won’t be capable to commerce him even when they need to make a deal as a result of as engaging as a top-tier goaltender could be for the playoffs, there are treasured few groups which are playoff certain that want a goaltender. The Edmonton Oilers, who’re getting good, however not nice goaltending, are a type of groups. The final time they made a deadline deal to get a goalie was 2006 and it labored out fairly nicely. They made a deal for Dwayne Roloson, who carried them to the Stanley Cup remaining and might need gained it for them had he not gotten harm in Recreation 1 of the ultimate.
No matter whether or not Lehner is dealt by the Blackhawks, it’s unimaginable to argue that he doesn’t deserve the long-term deal he was in search of from the New York Islanders over the summer time. There have been a complete of 37 goaltenders within the NHL who’ve performed at the very least 60 video games over the previous two seasons and of these goalies, Lehner is second in save share to Ben Bishop. When it comes to analytics, he trails solely Connor Hellebuyck and Tuukka Rask this season. However one space the place Lehner has helped the Blackhawks most is on the penalty kill. Chicago was abysmal on the penalty kill final season, ending final within the league. This season, they’re sixth within the league with Lehner posting a mind-boggling .940 save share whereas the Blackhawks are killing penalties. The pattern measurement is actually giant sufficient for the reason that Blackhawks have given up 150 photographs with Lehner in purpose in that scenario. Since 2013-14, there have been a mixed 329 seasons by goalies and Lehner’s save share of .940 is second finest.
So what does that make Lehner value? Effectively, there is no such thing as a method he’s getting Carey Worth/Sergei Bobrovsky/Andrei Vasilevskiy cash. What workforce would do this after watching how Bobrovsky has performed this season? However that ought to not deter the Blackhawks or some other workforce from signing Lehner to a long-term deal if the cash is true. Going long-term labored out brilliantly for the Bruins with Rask and it seems as if the Jets are going to do very nicely with Hellebuyck underneath that sort of deal. Till this season, it was trying superb for the Geese with John Gibson. It certain appears as if the 28-year-old Lehner at about $7 million on a long-term deal seems like it could work out fairly nicely for each the participant and the workforce.
In the event you’re of the notion that groups are simply guessing about goaltending nowadays, then maybe the Blackhawks enable each Lehner’s and Corey Crawford’s contracts to run out, then go choosing although the excessive variety of goalies who will likely be unrestricted free brokers this summer time. However in case you do this, you is perhaps lacking out on a man who has proved to be the most effective goalies within the NHL over the previous couple of seasons and one who may spend the foreseeable future as the most effective stoppers within the recreation.
Need extra in-depth options, evaluation and an All-Entry go to the most recent content material? Subscribe to The Hockey Information journal.
Tags: chicago blackhawksConnect: In regards to the AuthorKen CampbellKen Campbell, The Hockey Information’ senior author, is in his second tour with the model after an eight-year stint as a beat reporter for the Maple Leafs for the Toronto Star. The Sudbury native as soon as tried out for the Ontario League’s Wolves as a 30-year-old. For sure, it did not work out.