With a clear need at the goaltending position, General Manager Tim Murray went out and got someone who he is very familiar with, a 23-year-old Swedish netminder.
Lehner has played in parts of five seasons with the Senators, serving as a backup and recording 30 wins. He’ll be 24 years old by the time the season starts and certainly has room to improve, but plenty of upside.
“Robin looks pretty similar to Henrik Lundqvist. He makes himself look very big in the net and there is not much room to shoot at. He challenges shooters pretty well and his lower net butterfly coverage is good.” – NHL European Scouting Service
Tim Murray spoke with the media a couple hours after the trade was announced, and stated that this is the guy he was after.
“He’s a talented, big, strong young man who is just scratching the surface,” Murray said. “Hopefully, we can bring the best out of him.”
“Lehner was our target. The No. 1 goalie available in our eyes. We came to an agreement. You don’t win without a good goaltender. Lehner has proven he can win and he’s highly competitive. If he was 27, 28 years old, I probably would have taken a step back. He’s young. He fits what we’re trying to do” – Sabres GM Tim Murray
While Tim Murray seemed please with the acquisition of Lehner, His uncle, Bryan, said that’s not where he wanted his goaltender to go.
“I didn’t want to put him in Buffalo, Senators general manager Bryan Murray said. “I wanted him to go out west, but we couldn’t get a deal done to our satisfaction.”
The Sabres also get an NHL veteran in the deal in David Legwand. A former 2nd overall pick in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Legwand comes in with 15 years of experience.
“He’s a veteran of this league, Tim Murray said. “He’s a pro. He’s a man.”
The Sabres enter tonight’s draft with the 2nd overall selection, but also have the 31st overall pick as well. Over the last year, Murray has turned three first-round picks into Evander Kane, Robin Lehner and Jack Eichel.
“We’re going to walk out of here after today with Jack Eichel and Robin Lehner. I think that’s huge for the franchise.” – Sabres GM Tim Murray