#PayRobin: Too early to panic in Lehner negotiation

  

Through sources, here at The Rink, we heard this week that the Blackhawks had made an opening offer to Robin Lehner and his camp on a contract extension in the neighborhood of 4 years at $5 million per.

As big Lehner fans and the progenitors of the #PayRobin hashtag, we were also quick to cry foul—perhaps temporarily forgetting the true nature of contract negotiations in the NHL, and what’s most likely at work here.

First, it’s all a negotiation.

As much as we want to see Lehner in Chicago long-term, GMs (for the most part) and agents (completely) are not in the business of fulfilling fan narratives. If I’m Lehner’s agent, my job is to get my client the most money and term on his next deal (because that’s also how I make my money) and hopefully in a situation where my client can thrive, win playoff games, and get endorsement deals. Period.

So that said, why wouldn’t I use Sergei Bobrovsky’s 8-year, $80 million contract as a starting point in my conversations with Stan Bowman? Because it’s not nice? Lehner is, fact, going to get paid this summer like he’s one of the top 10 goalies in the NHL—because he is one of them.

All that said, that’s the high end of the market. And if you’re Stan Bowman, you want to frame this negotiation by starting out at the low end of the market—say the deal we heard was initially offered.

And through negotiation, you likely end up somewhere in the middle, which would be about $7-7.5 million per for 5-6 years. Seems reasonable.

“But, but, you can trade Lehner. He doesn’t want to stay in Chicago anyway.”

We believe—and we’ve heard—Lehner wants to stay in Chicago. You don’t want to believe us or our sources? Listen to Lehner then:

No, he’s not going to give the Hawks a hometown discount, nor should he. Can the Hawks trade Lehner for a bucket of pucks at the deadline?

Sure, and then you’re left with Colin Delia, Kevin Lankinen and the shell of Corey Crawford (if he doesn’t retire anyway) next year—and going forward. Unless you decide at some point to pay a top goalie—who wants to be in Chicago—the going rate for his services. And you already have that guy. Let’s be logical, mmmm-kay?

To hesitate on this would be front office malpractice. But, in all likelihood, the Hawks are going about this the right way, for now, even if at the risk of offending Lehner. It’s a negotiation. And it’s between the Hawks and Lehner’s agent. Not just the Hawks and Lehner.

And certainly, the situation can change—the two parties can move toward each other and come together in the middle of the range outlined above—which seems to make a lot of sense. And there is time yet for that to happen.

Or one side or the other can get angry and shut it down, allowing Lehner to go to UFA this summer, or trading him or his rights before then. And that’s the time to panic.

Because #PayRobin is better than the alternative.

What do you think? Sign in and comment below.

Photoshop courtesy of Jeff Osborn / Photograph courtesy of NHL.com

 

 

 

Center Ice Forums #PayRobin: Too early to panic in Lehner negotiation

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
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  • #15899
    John Jaeckel
    Keymaster

    Through sources, here at The Rink, we heard this week that the Blackhawks had made an opening offer to Robin Lehner and his camp on a contract extensi
    [To continue reading full article, click here: #PayRobin: Too early to panic in Lehner negotiation]

    Apparently, all goalies are Vikings

    #15900
    matt_ahrens
    Participant

    $7m to $7.75m for 4 or 5 seasons would be good; the closer to $7m, the better.

    He’ll get at least that much on the open market this summer. He’s setting up his position: he’s is less of a risk on the personal side of things with another year under his belt. His play has been at a very high level. And, there aren’t many solid Gs available this summer. If he were willing to take a term of 4 or 5 years, I’m sure he could get at least $8m from someone else.

    I’m curious what Crawford does. I’m sure he could get at least $4m from someone. I’d like for him to come back to the Blackhawks to backup Lehner for about $2m, but I doubt that’ll happen.

    Cap space is always a problem. In addition to Lehner, they need to resign Kubalik & Strome; and make  decisions on Gustafsson, Highmore, Cagguila, Koekoek, and some AHL guys.

    #15901
    Chico Maki
    Participant

    long term, big dollar contracts to goalies, for the most part, havent worked out well in the nhl.

    The Blackhawks are further away from being a Cup contender than a top 3 goalie. They’re at minimum 2 years away. And then Toews and Kane will be 2 years older.

    I’d rather soak some team in a TDL move, who will overpay for Lehner.  This team needs top 6 talent.

     

    #15902
    Jeff Osborn
    Keymaster

    long term, big dollar contracts to goalies, for the most part, havent worked out well in the nhl. The Blackhawks are further away from being a Cup contender than a top 3 goalie. They’re at minimum 2 years away. And then Toews and Kane will be 2 years older. I’d rather soak some team in a TDL move, who will overpay for Lehner. This team needs top 6 talent.

    You don’t get young, ready, top 6 talent for a rental, though.  You get draft picks, hopes and dreams. Someone has to stop the puck until the next gen are ready.  If you go into 2020-21 with Delia and Lankinen, they will end up all fired and picking top 5 in 2021.  That’s going backwards.

    @PuckinHostile on Twitter

    #15903
    Chico Maki
    Participant

    I’d be happy getting high draft pick(s) for Lehner, as long as Bowman isnt doing the drafting.

    And picking in the top 3 again in 2021 is fine….we are talking about the ling term here, right?

    Will this team be a Cup contender,  with Lehner, in 2021/22? I seriously doubt it.

    #15905
    Jeff Osborn
    Keymaster

    I’d be happy getting high draft pick(s) for Lehner, as long as Bowman isnt doing the drafting. And picking in the top 3 again in 2021 is fine….we are talking about the ling term here, right? Will this team be a Cup contender, with Lehner, in 2021/22? I seriously doubt it.

    The problem is that any team trading for Lehner isn’t giving you a high draft pick.  You’re back in the 20s with are more projects.  If you can have a TOR/COL type situation, Toews and Kane can help usher them in.  That’s year 2 of a 4/5 year deal.  Still need a monster on the back end, and getting one in FA will cost you more than $7M by then.  Don’t want to end up like 2011 with Marty Turco.  There are no Crawfords in the org to bail them out.  If they had their hands on a top tier goalie and let him go because they didn’t want to burn 2 of the 5 years, that’s a huge mistake.  Delia is UFA in 2, Crawford and Lankinen are up this summer, Gravel is an unknown, and Tomkins will be lucky to be a fulltime AHL starter.  The cupboard is damn near bare.

    I’m not saying give him 7 years, but 4-5 isn’t the end of the world and it’s tradeable if you keep him around $7M or $7.5M.

    @PuckinHostile on Twitter

    #15906
    Phil M
    Participant

    I love how Lehner has played, but is it really wise for them to pay him long term? This is a team in dire need of a rebuild instead of half ass retooling on the fly. I would think how much he cares about winning factors in somewhere. Probably the next two years the Hawks will have a hard time getting in the playoffs, let alone going anywhere.

    #15908
    Chico Maki
    Participant

    I’d be happy getting high draft pick(s) for Lehner, as long as Bowman isnt doing the drafting. And picking in the top 3 again in 2021 is fine….we are talking about the ling term here, right? Will this team be a Cup contender, with Lehner, in 2021/22? I seriously doubt it.

    The problem is that any team trading for Lehner isn’t giving you a high draft pick. You’re back in the 20s with are more projects. If you can have a TOR/COL type situation, Toews and Kane can help usher them in. That’s year 2 of a 4/5 year deal. Still need a monster on the back end, and getting one in FA will cost you more than $7M by then. Don’t want to end up like 2011 with Marty Turco. There are no Crawfords in the org to bail them out. If they had their hands on a top tier goalie and let him go because they didn’t want to burn 2 of the 5 years, that’s a huge mistake. Delia is UFA in 2, Crawford and Lankinen are up this summer, Gravel is an unknown, and Tomkins will be lucky to be a fulltime AHL starter. The cupboard is damn near bare. I’m not saying give him 7 years, but 4-5 isn’t the end of the world and it’s tradeable if you keep him around $7M or $7.5M.

     

    We’re talking about Bowman.  He’s the guy who negotiates and hands out ridiculous long term contracts in the past that have tied anchors around the neck of this team.  Giving Lehner more than 3 years, IMO, is a bad idea.  The contracts of Loungo, Quick, Bobrosky, Price, I’m sure I’m missing more, all those teams would like a do-over in handing out long term, big dollar goalie contracts.

    Lehner is 28, he’ll be 29 at the start of next season.  This team is 2 years, at least, away from being a Cup contender.  Lehner will be 31/32 by then and may not be a top tier goalie, so you’d have spent who knows how much money and you’ll end up needing a new goalie by then anyway.  And with Bowman, you may be tied to Lehner for multiple more years.

    let’s not forget it was big dollar long term contracts that put this team in cap hell.

    I hope I’m wrong, but I think signing him to big long term deal is a bad idea.  This team needs a lot more than a $7+ million dollar goalie.

     

    #16007
    DK002
    Participant

    Personally I’d like to see them sign him to a nice deal…and then that problem has been taken off the books. Lehner has been one of the few reasons to watch the team this season.

    As mentioned you’re not going to get a lot of pieces for a rental.  The other thing is look at the goalie pipeline the Hawks have and its not impressive.  It’s a concern.

    I get what Chico is saying there’s a lot of boxes to check, but a stud netminder is one of them.  Crawford is not going to get the amount or term from the Hawks coming out of his deal.  He’s won 2 Cups and been paid handsomely to do so.  But we’ve also seen CC with injury history in the last two seasons.  He’s not your starter moving forward.  Father time always wins.  Whether Crawford wants to take a relative smaller deal to stay on remains to be seen.

    But I don’t see them going into next year with CC and Delia as Jeff mentions – what was your favorite moment of the Marty Turco era…yikes scooby.

    Meantime should the Hawks miss the playoffs wondering if they’d finally get rid of Bowman – a new vision, fresh set of eyes would do wonders for this or-gan-i-za-tion.

    Can’t wait to see how they do against Q tomorrow night – Cats are 11-4 in their last 15 going into tonight against minni.

     

     

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