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Robin Lehner to meet with NHL officials regarding Twitter comments over medical malpractice

Robin Lehner wanted the NHL’s attention, and he got it this weekend.

The Golden Knights goaltender spent a good portion of his Saturday firing off tweets about player health and medical treatment, threatening to release a damaging story each day unless the league and NHL Players’ Association acted.

Deputy commissioner Bill Daly confirmed to the Review-Journal on Sunday that the league plans to reach out to Lehner about his claims, though there is no timeline for when the interview will take place.

The meeting with Lehner is not disciplinary in nature. He is not being punished by the league for speaking out.

“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 in to the new. Things have to change. I talk way to much and I still have 90% filter on. Don’t make me take it away.”

Lehner’s comments posted on his verified account were his latest in defense of Buffalo center Jack Eichel, his teammate with the Sabres from 2015 to 2018.

Eichel is waged in a dispute with the team over what type of surgery he should undergo for a herniated disk in his neck and has requested a trade.

While the Sabres prefer one procedure, Eichel wants to have an artificial disk replacement surgery, which has never been performed on an NHL player. Lehner believes Eichel should have the right to choose, though the NHL collective bargaining agreement gives teams the final say on how to treat injuries.

That led Lehner to double-down on his accusation that the Sabres medical staff mishandled his own ankle injury in 2015 and forced him to do leg presses a few weeks after sustaining a high ankle sprain. He posted pictures of his swollen ankle to back up his claim.

It only got more serious from there, as Lehner accused teams of giving out benzodiazepines and Ambien to employees when they travel. Lehner clarified that the Knights were not one of the teams he was referencing.

Benzodiazepines are typically prescribed to relieve anxiety and muscle spasms, and reduce seizures. The most common are Valium, Xanax, Halcion, Ativan and Klonopin, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

In a follow-up tweet, Lehner referred to Flyers coach Alain Vigneault as a “dinosaur” who treated people like “robots not human” and claimed he had proof Vigneault should be fired.

In response to Lehner’s tweets about the Flyers, Philadelphia general manager Chuck Fletcher denied the coaching staff provided health care to players in a statement Sunday.

Lehner has never played for Vigneault in his 11-year career, which includes stops in Ottawa, Buffalo, the New York Islanders and Chicago before he was traded to the Knights in 2020.

“I’ve made crazy amount of mistakes,” Lehner wrote. “But lying about what I’ve seen for 12 years not one of them. I don’t care what they say, I don’t lie about these things. I’ll keep going. Have stored stories for a year.”

Igor Burdetskiy

Igor Burdetskiy

Founder, Editor-in-Chief, & CEO at Hooked on Hockey Magazine
I grew up playing Ball and Roller Hockey day and night somewhat religiously throughout elementary and middle school. The two don't compare though when I lace up the skates and hit the ice. I live and breathe hockey beyond the perspective of "it's just a game" and I will gladly talk hockey for hours with anyone. Hockey is more than just a lifestyle, it's a culture of passionate people who make memories every time the puck is dropped. Hockey has not only helped me get through some of the hardest times in life but has created some of the best memories to date. Want to talk hockey with me? Shoot me an email: iburdetskiy@hookedonhockey.com and let's talk some hockey!
Igor Burdetskiy
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