Vegas G Robin Lehner could miss remainder of regular season


Frank Seravalli was back with more news and nuggets in another edition of Ice Breakers on Thursday’s Daily Faceoff Show:

For the first time, Vegas coach Pete DeBoer was critical of the Golden Knights’ goaltending after a 7-3 thrashing by the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night.

“We just didn’t get in front of enough pucks,” DeBoer said when asked about the goaltending. “It’s pretty simple. I’m not a goaltending expert, but you’ve got to get in front of a couple.”

The Golden Knights haven’t offered up much in terms of injury updates with nearly $40 million in payroll sidelined: Robin Lehner, Mark Stone, Max Pacioretty, Reilly Smith, Alec Martinez and Brayden McNabb are all out.

We’re told the update on Lehner is not positive.

Sources say Lehner suffered a patella fracture and crack in his kneecap, which would explain why he was spotted on crutches when heading home from Vegas’ road trip.

The team is still attempting to determine an exact time frame for a potential Lehner return, but coupled with the torn labrum in his shoulder that he was already playing through, the fear is Lehner could miss the remainder of the regular season.

Even if Lehner were to be healthy enough to return for the playoffs — should the Golden Knights qualify — it’s difficult to envision Vegas being willing to gamble on his ability to stay upright through a four-round slog.

Sources say the Golden Knights are active and making calls on the goaltending market.

GM Kelly McCrimmon flatly denied our previous report that the Golden Knights had explored a potential reunion with Marc-Andre Fleury. We reported then that they had also checked in with the New York Rangers on Alexandar Georgiev.

Other goaltenders available include Joonas Korpisalo, Mackenzie Blackwood, Anton Forsberg, Jaroslav Halak, Thomas Greiss, Martin Jones, and …

Jordan Binnington. Yes, sources say Blues GM Doug Armstrong contacted teams perceived to be active on the goaltending market and pitched the 2019 Stanley Cup champion as a potential solution to their problems.

We’re told there has not been much traction, if any, which makes a trade unlikely for a number of reasons.

For one, Binnington’s contract is heavy. The 28-year-old is in the first year of a six-year, $36 million contract. His $6 million AAV has not been commensurate to his play this season. It’s been an adventure on the ice.

Binnington also has a full “no-trade” clause and can veto any potential deal.

On the one hand, Binnington’s availability is a surprise because he just signed his deal last March.

On the other hand, Binnington has been badly outplayed by Ville Husso this season, who is also a pending UFA. Binnington’s .903 save percentage is exactly league average this year; Husso is well north at .928 over nearly the same number of appearances.

It would appear that right now, Husso would be Craig Berube’s Game 1 starter in the Stanley Cup playoffs — and not Binnington.

So the move would be multi-faceted for St. Louis: Armstrong could move on from Binnington’s contract and create salary cap flexibility to add elsewhere on his roster before Monday. And it would open the door for the Blues to re-sign Husso, the hot hand, in the offseason to perhaps a less expensive deal with less term.

Alas, this doesn’t sound like one that will be happening.

Doesn’t sound like there has been much progress made, if any, between the Anaheim Ducks in talks with Hampus Lindholm, the premier defenseman available on the rental market.

Lindholm, 28, is set to become an unrestricted free agent in July, now in the final year of a six-year, $31.5 million deal.

As we’ve reported, the sticking point in negotiations is term. GM Pat Verbeek is not willing to give Lindholm a seven- or an eight-year deal, which the Lindholm camp is confident he can receive on the open market.

It’s possible Verbeek circles back to Lindholm for one final push in the coming days, but he continues to gauge the trade market for the Swede.

We’re told the ask for Lindholm is a first-round pick, a Grade A top prospect, plus another piece.

There’s no doubt Verbeek was enthused by the return the Montreal Canadiens received for Ben Chiarot on Wednesday. Teams almost universally see Lindholm, a 22-minute-a-night minute-muncher and elite skater, as a step above Chiarot — even though they don’t play the same style.

As a reminder, Lindholm does not have any “no-trade” protection and can be sent anywhere.

How does the Chiarot trade impact Mark Giordano on the market?

You could add Seattle Kraken GM Ron Francis to the list of satisfied observers. The Kraken have been steadfast in their ask for a first-round pick for Giordano. Even though he’s older at 38 and has a significantly higher salary cap hit than Chiarot, Seattle’s point is that Giordano has the Norris Trophy pedigree to support the ask.

Giordano will have some sway in the matter. He essentially holds a 12-team “no-trade” list, or 19 teams to which he has approved a trade. If everything is equal, the Kraken would like to send their captain to a preferred destination.

That’s where the Toronto Maple Leafs come in: We’re told if Giordano has his wish, he’d like to go home to play for the blue and white.

The Maple Leafs appear to have prioritized help on the blue line, and Giordano is near the top of their list, along with Lindholm. It may well come down to price. Will Seattle’s ask drop to a second?

Count the Boston Bruins among the teams interested in Giordano. The Bruins have also been eyeing Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Calvin De Haan.

The ask on De Haan is believed to be a second-round pick.

Keep an eye on the Dallas Stars: Sounds like the decision to put Andrej Sekera on waivers on Thursday was to create salary cap flexibility so the Stars can bolster their roster ahead of the deadline. Yes, a big turnaround in Big D, from potential sellers to potential buyers in a matter of six or seven weeks.

Finally, the belief is no meaningful progress has been made in extension talks between Ottawa and Nick Paul, or Tyler Motte and the Vancouver Canucks.


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