Former Islanders goalie Robin Lehner has called out NHL teams for medical malpractice, and the league says it would like to speak to the current Vegas netminder about the allegations.
Lehner, a Vezina Trophy finalist for the Islanders in his lone season with them in 2018-19, tweeted Saturday that NHL teams – not the Golden Knights, he stressed – offer players benzodiazepines and Ambien on road trips without prescriptions.
“This doesn’t happen in Vegas to be clear,” Lehner tweeted. “But I know many other teams. I also [have] been [on] teams that do.”
Lehner later told ESPN that his series of tweets was intended to bring attention to the surgery impasse between Jack Eichel, a former teammate in Buffalo, and the Sabres. The 24-year-old Eichel has been sidelined since March with a herniated disk in his neck, and he requested a trade – and was stripped of his team captaincy — after disagreeing with the Sabres over a course of treatment.
Bill Daly, the NHL’s deputy commissioner, told ESPN that the league is attempting to speak with Lehner about his allegations.
One team that Lehner called out specifically in his thread were the Flyers, and he called for coach Alain Vigneault – who coached the Rangers from 2013-18 — to be fired.
“I’ve made [a] crazy amount of mistakes. But lying about what I’ve seen for 12 years [is] not one of them,” Lehner tweeted. “I don’t care what they say. I don’t lie about these things… Watch now when nhl will try [to] cancel me.”
The 30-year-old Lehner added that he plans to “keep going” with his charges, writing that he has “stored stories for a year.”
The Swedish goalie was awarded the Masterton Trophy in 2019 for perseverance and dedication to hockey after revealing that he had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was being treated for depression and alcohol/drug addictions. He also has played for the Senators and Blackhawks during an 12-year NHL career.
“I’m 100% an nhl fan,” Lehner wrote. “Love hockey and want the nhl to be great. I’m not trying to destroy anything. but do what’s right. It’s time to walk away from the old ways and into the new. Things have to change.”
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