In a morning deal on Draft Day, the Sabres acquired Robin Lehner from the Senators. The full deal which was broken earlier on Twitter also netted them David Legwand in exchange for the 21st overall pick. They’ll pick up all of Legwand’s remaining contract. He’s owed $3.5 million this season.
For Buffalo, GM Tim Murray balked at Glen Sather’s asking price for Cam Talbot opting instead to trade for the younger Lehner. He doesn’t turn 24 until July 24. Originally drafted by Ottawa in the second round of the 2009 Draft, the Swedish netminder has spent parts of four seasons with the Senators totaling 30 wins with a 2.88 goals-against-average and .914 save percentage in 86 career games.
Lehner struggled this past season posting a 3.02 GAA and .905 save percentage in 25 games winning just nine of 24 starts. He has two years remaining on his contract with a cap hit of $2.025 million and will earn $3.15 million in 2016-17 before becoming restricted next summer.
With the Sabres still selecting Jack Eichel second overall along with having two second round picks including 31 and 51 (NYI), they used the first round pick they got from the Islanders in the Thomas Vanek deal on a goalie. Due to the emergence of Andrew Hammond, Lehner became expendable. With Ottawa still having Craig Anderson and the Hamburglar, it made sense to trade him. Now Buffalo will hope Lehner can fulfill his potential and become their number one.
They still have tons of cap space. I wonder if Murray will make a play for Ryan O’Reilly. The Avalanche aren’t keeping him after dealing for Carl Soderberg who they foolishly overpaid giving the center five years worth $4.75 million per season with a full no-trade clause the first two years. They only parted with a sixth round pick to Boston who might actually deal Dougie Hamilton if they can pry away the Coyotes third overall pick. The Blue Jackets are said to be very interested. They have the number eight pick.
Full draft coverage later.