Tag: Philadelphia Flyers

Robin Lehner,

Under Pressure: Robin Lehner


If you want a hockey example of “be careful what you wish for,” look no further than Robin Lehner.

He’s getting what he likely pined for during his time with the Ottawa Senators – the No. 1 gig – yet he’ll face a challenging situation in Buffalo.

It doesn’t help matters that Sabres fans cringed at the cost of acquiring Lehner.

Lehner cost a first-round draft pick in a loaded draft while the Senators also managed to unload David Legwand’s contract. The 24-year-old may need to do a little convincing early on.

A bumpy 2014-15 season

Whether it was crafty veteran Craig Anderson or fast-food sensation Andrew Hammond, Lehner couldn’t snare the starting gig in Ottawa, and things only got worse when concussion issues ended his season altogether.

It’s easy to forget that Lehner sports a perfectly respectable career save percentage (.914) because his 2014-15 season was so unsightly: 9-12-3 with a mediocre .905 save percentage.

Long story short, Lehner has plenty to prove after a bumpy start to his NHL career.

source: AP
Via AP

A big opportunity, but a huge challenge

That said, he’s definitely getting a fair shot with the Sabres and GM Tim Murray. Murray was nothing if optimistic about acquiring the big Swede, as the Ottawa Sun noted after the trade.

“I think Robin needed a change of scenery,” Murray said. “I think he’s a very talented, big strong, young man that is just scratching the surface and, hopefully, we can bring the best out of him.”

Some might roll their eyes at the idea of a change of scenery making a difference, yet it’s not without precedent. Steve Mason’s resurgence in Philadelphia argues that a struggling netminder can thrive after a career Etch-a-Sketch shake.

Granted, it won’t be easy; Lehner’s essentially going from a holding pattern in Ottawa to a trial by fire with Buffalo. What do you think: will he sink or swim?

Flyers’ Hakstol flew 4,000 miles to have dinner with Voracek

Dave Hakstol

Even though Dave Hakstol is now in the NHL with the Philadelphia Flyers, it doesn’t mean he’s shelved his recruiting ways.

The former bench boss at the University of North Dakota, who was named the 19th head coach in Flyers’ history in May, recently jumped on a plane and flew 4,000 miles to have dinner with Jakub Voracek.

“I talked to him over the phone and he told me that he would like to see me in the middle of June,” said Voracek who signed an eight-year contract extension this week. “I was like, ‘Yeah that’s perfect, but I’ll be still in Czech.’ He was like, ‘Yeah I know, I’m just going to fly to Czech to have dinner with you.’”

According to the Daily News, Hakstol and the right-winger met prior to contract talks between the Flyers and Voracek’s agent started heating up.

The two discussed the upcoming season, Hakstol’s coaching style and what was expected of Voracek and his teammates.

“When he came down, I asked him what was his next plan, if he’s staying for the week or going somewhere else,” Voracek said. “He was like, ‘No, no. I’m flying back tomorrow morning.’ I told him that’s a long trip for one dinner, but it meant a lot to me and it was great to talk to him eye-to-eye.”

Voracek had a team-leading 59 assists and 81 points to go along with 22 goals in 82 games last season.

Related: No extension on the horizon for Flyers’ Brayden Schenn

No extension on the horizon for Flyers’ Brayden Schenn

Brayden Schenn

Flyers’ GM Ron Hextall has been busy handing out contract extensions this week inking both Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek; however, one player who won’t be getting an extension any time soon is Brayden Schenn.

The 23-year-old is heading into the final year of his two-year, $5 million contract and is set to become a restricted free agent next summer.

“I’ve spoken with Brayden’s agent a number of times over the summer about different things and the subject’s never come up,” Hextall said per CSNPhilly.com. “It’s not something we’re in a hurry to do and I’m assuming they feel the same way.”

Schenn, who scored a career-high 47 points to go along with 18 goals in 82 games last season, is headed into his fifth season with the Flyers.

A natural center, Schenn was used on the wing at times by former coach Craig Berube last season.

“From my perspective, he’s played a lot of games and he’s a young player that is growing and developing,” Flyers’ coach Dave Hakstol said. “I think I am going to allow that proof to be decided in his performance. I’m not making any decisions on anything that’s happened in the past. I think it’s about what you do from this point forward and that will be the case in this situation.”

In four seasons with the Flyers, Schenn has 58 goals and 132 points while appearing in 265 games.

Related: How do Voracek, Giroux compare to the most expensive duos?