No big Islanders news again during this August mid-week, but Robin Lehner had an interview that shed some light on the summer when he hoped to re-sign with the Islanders while the Islanders...kept stalling. The Isles ended up signing Semyon Varlamov to a long-term deal — twice the length that was apparently on the table for Lehner, it seems — and the way it went down always hinted that the Isles were working on an alternate path while Lehner was more of a fallback
The interview was revealing both for him going into how the negotiations — or lack of negotiations, really — went down with the Islanders after he took home silverware that offseason, as well as thoughts on compensation and player commitment, and the whole saga with Marc-Andre Fleury and his “backstabbing” meme-using agent. He also went into his own mental health and why he gets pissed at people who ignorantly or perhaps intentionally misunderstand mental health. [Cam and Strick podcast]
Lenher: "We had Anders Lee and a few other players that were signing deals that year. We kept taking time and went the NHL Awards, and they said everything was going to be fine. We just kept waiting for an offer and then they wanted us to give them a number" (2/2) #Isles— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) August 10, 2021
Lehner also revealed on the @camandstrickpod that the #Isles plan that free agency -- because Artemi Panarin and Semyon Varlamov shared the same agent -- was to bring them both in on a package deal— Rob Taub (@RTaub_) August 10, 2021
Also, Brock Nelson appeared on NHL Network to field questions about life as an Islander and the culture that Lou and Barry have developed. [NHL video]
- Condolences to the Esposito family on the passing of Tony, a star and beloved goalie for the Hawks and Team Canada in his day. [NHL]
- The Rangers contract with Igor Shesterkin is official. [Post] There is some risk, and some potential reward for both sides. [Athletic]
- A cautionary tale: The 10 Worst Contacts include two former Norris winners who were absolutely on top of the game once upon a time. [Athletic]
- Jakub Vrana logged a point per game in 11 games after joining the Red Wings, so now Detroit will pay him at a rate the Capitals were afraid to. [NHL]
- Rick Bowness answers questions after a disappointing follow-up season to the Stars’ Cup finals run. [Defending Big D]
- The Hurricanes lost Dougie Hamilton and completely changed out their goalies, hoping for a deeper playoff run this time. [NHL]
- The NHL still isn’t sure if it will go to the Winter Olympics, so they have the announced schedule and also a backup schedule in case agreement can’t be reached with the IOC. [ESPN]
- Breaking this morning: Yet another player avoids arbitration, Neal Pionk with the Jets. It looks like players are using the threat of pre-pandemic comparables in arbitration to scare teams into moving up a bit and settling before a hearing.
Hearing WIN & Neal Pionk avoid arbitration with four-year extension, just under $6M AAV.— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) August 11, 2021
LOL. The Amazon series on the Leafs is coming in October. “All or Nothing.” Don’t tell me which choice they made!