The Blackhawks traded goaltender Robin Lehner to the Golden Knights for goaltender Malcolm Subban, defenseman prospect Slava Demin and a second-round pick in the 2020 NHL draft prior to the NHL’s trade deadline Monday. Chris Johnston of Sportsnet reported final package for the trade.
Vegas acquired the 2020 second-round pick from the Penguins as an incentive for the Golden Knights to select goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the 2017 Expansion Draft.
Lehner is 16-10-5 with a .918 save percentage, 3.01 goals-against average and 10.53 goals-saved above average this season, his first with Chicago since signing a one-year, $5 million contract July 1. The 28-year-old is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Lehner, however, wanted to stay with the Blackhawks as he offered to take a three-year contract extension for less money but he “never got an offer,” a source told Mark Lazerus of The Athletic.
Really exited to join Vegas. Going to be a ride. Can’t wait to get there but please no drums at the airport I’m shy...— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) February 24, 2020
Lehner had an NHL career-high 25 wins (25-13-5) and six shutouts in 46 games with the Islanders last season. He started all eight playoff games for the Islanders (4-4, 2.00 GAA, .936 save percentage), and was a finalist for Vezina Trophy, awarded to the goalie voted the best at his position.
An article by Shayna Goldman of The Athletic from December helps illustrate the rarity of in-season goaltender trades.
With Lehner’s departure, the Blackhawks will rely on Corey Crawford to be the starter with Subban as the backup.
Crawford is 11-17-3 with a .915 save percentage, 2.80 GAA and a 6.40 GSAA in 32 games this season. The 35-year-old had a modified no-trade clause with 10 teams he could be traded to on his six-year, $36 million contract that he signed Sept. 2, 2013. He’s also set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Subban is 30-23-7 with a 2.97 GAA and .899 save percentage in 65 NHL games in his career, including a 9-7-3 record with a 3.18 GAA and .890 save percentage in 20 games this season. He will be a restricted free agent this summer after his $850,000 contract expires.
Demin has nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 30 games during his sophomore season at the University of Denver, where he’s teammates with fellow Blackhawks prospect Ian Mitchell. Demin, who brings some size to Chicago’s pipeline (6-foot-2, 190 pounds), was drafted in the fourth round of the 2018 draft by Vegas and is unsigned.
Blackhawks’ 2020, 2021 draft picks
- Second (traded to Montreal for Andrew Shaw)
- PIT Second (acquired for Lehner)
- CGY Third (acquired for Erik Gustafsson)
- Seventh (traded to Montreal for Shaw)
- Third (traded to Montreal for Shaw)
- MTL Seventh (acquired for Shaw)