The agreement was made earlier this week, according to the source, but Lehner denies that he and the team have an understanding on a new contract ahead of his unrestricted free agency this offseason.
No contract has been signed or registered with the NHL.
“It’s not true,” Lehner said on Friday, ahead of Game 4 of the Western Conference finals on Saturday between the Golden Knights and the Dallas Stars. “I’ve been on a lot of teams lately, obviously. You have some talks. Where you’re at. What you want to do. Nothing has been finalized. We’re here.”
Lehner, 29, was acquired by the Golden Knights at the trade deadline from the Chicago Blackhawks. Vegas goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was in the first season of a three-year, $21 million contract extension that he signed in July 2018 but was inconsistent in the regular season. Vegas GM Kelly McCrimmon said on multiple occasions that the team acquired Lehner because it did not feel it “had enough support behind Marc-Andre.” But Lehner has been the starter in the restarted season for the Golden Knights, playing in 14 of their 18 postseason games. He’s 9-5 with a .921 save percentage, a 1.92 goals-against average and four shutouts.
That usage led to speculation that Lehner would be retained beyond this season, which has been fueled by published reports from The Athletic and The Fourth Period that indicated the relationship would continue.
“It’s kind of annoying that we are here in the conference final and people are saying things they don’t know. It’s just adding on to this thing that’s going on here. If it would have been finalized, it would have been finalized. But it’s not. I’m here to win a Cup, not discuss this stuff,” Lehner said on Friday, when asked about those reports.
“It’s a very competitive team. I felt right away when I got there that this was a non-politics team. I’ve been on a lot of teams where there were inside politics involved. I felt it right away when I came here. This team is all about winning. You deserve what you get. That’s what winning teams do,” Lehner said. “We have two strong goaltenders. A really strong team.”