The Vegas Golden Knights have activated goaltender Robin Lehner off of the Long-Term Injured Reserve list (LTIR), clearing the way for his return from an upper body injury sustained in early February.
Lehner, who signed a five-year, $5M AAV deal with the VGK, has not played since February 7 when he allowed three goals on 32 shots in a victory over the Los Angeles Kings. He has struggled overall this season but still has a 3-1-1 record to go with a 2.96 GAA and an .890 save percentage.
Whether or not this most recent injury was related to his off-season shoulder surgery, there’s no arguing that Lehner did not get off to the best start this season. He struggled with puck tracking and rebound control at times. Lehner also appeared to be playing a bit farther out of his crease than in the past. For a goaltender who normally relied more on reaction time than cutting down angles, it seemed an odd transition.
Either way, Robin Lehner has now had a substantial amount of time off due to the injury. Perhaps the break will serve as a reset button for him, a fresh start to get back to the form that earned him that contract in the first place. Lehner did spend a week with the Henderson Silver Knights on a conditioning assignment but did not appear in any games.
As a result of activating Lehner, the Vegas Golden Knights had to reassign five players to the taxi squad: Cody Glass, Nicolas Hague, Dylan Coghlan, Patrick Brown and Logan Thompson, who had been backing up Marc-Andre Fleury.
It remains to be seen whether the extra time to heal and get healthy will be a boon to Robin Lehner, but certainly Fleury getting some rest is welcome so he doesn’t burn out. Head coach Pete DeBoer has already said he wanted to return to a rotation while Lehner was out, so expect the starts to go back-and-forth unless the situation warrants otherwise.
Vegas is back in action tonight against the San Jose Sharks at T-Mobile Arena.