Sabres parting ways with G Lehner after three seasons

Sabres parting ways with G Lehner after three seasons

When you‘re the stating goalie on the team with the worst record in the league which allowed the third-most goals of any team, odds are you‘re not getting a contract extension.

Exhibit A: Robin Lehner.

After three seasons with the Buffalo Sabres, Lehner will not be brought back for a fourth. General manager Jason Botterill announced Friday that the team will not extend Lehner a one-year qualifying offer, making the eight-year veteran a free agent July 1.

“It‘s a scenario where you finish 31st you have to make some difficult choices,” Botterill told reporters in Dallas, hours before the NHL draft begins. Buffalo holds the No. 1 overall pick after finishing just 25-45-12 for a league-worst 62 points last season.

Only Ottawa and the New York Islanders surrendered more goals than the Sabres‘ 280. Buffalo‘s minus-81 goal differential was also worst in the NHL.

“Part of it that was so disappointing and difficult about it is that I know Robin is passionate about the city of Buffalo, and passionate about helping this organization,” Botterill continued. “We felt like we had to make some adjustments.”

Lehner, who turns 27 next month, was 14-26-9 last season, capping a three-season run in which he went 42-61-22 with just six shootout wins, posting a 2.77 goals against average and .916 save percentage in that time. The goals against average and save percentage are better than the figures he posted in his first five seasons in the league, spent with Ottawa.

Per the Buffalo News, Lehner — coming off a year when he posted a career-high 23 wins with a 2.68 GAA — tried playing through several injuries last season before being shut down in March.

In addition to mining possible free agents, Buffalo may be ready to give 24-year-old prospect Linus Ullmark a shot at the starting job. He is 9-13-2 with a 2.52 goals against average and .917 save percentage in 26 games across three seasons in brief stints with the Sabres.

–Field Level Media

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