Robin Lehner is voicing his support for a former teammate.
The Vegas Golden Knights goaltender called out the NHL Players’ Association on Friday amid the ongoing dispute between Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres.
Eichel missed most of the 2020-21 campaign due to a herniated disk in his neck, and he and the team have been in a stalemate on how to proceed with the injury ever since.
The Sabres want Eichel to repair the ailment with neck fusion surgery, while the Boston University product wants to undergo an artificial disc replacement procedure. Buffalo has denied Eichel’s preferred method and continues to push for fusion surgery.
The Sabres stripped Eichel of his captaincy late last month after he failed his physical. Lehner continued to air out his frustrations with how the situation has been handled on Friday:
Lehner played with Eichel in Buffalo from 2015-18 before joining the New York Islanders and later the Chicago Blackhawks. He has been with the Golden Knights since 2019.
The 30-year-old has always spoken up for what he believes is right and has become an advocate for open discussions about mental illness after being diagnosed with Bipolar I disorder.
According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the NHL and NHLPA have been involved in the standoff between Eichel and the Sabres. Buffalo has also been sharing Eichel’s medical information with teams that have trade interest.