Robin Lehner’s list of thank-yous was a long one.
The Islanders goalie is well aware that being a Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy finalist reflects as much on those who have helped him in his recovery from addiction and mental-health issues as it does on himself.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without all the pieces around me,” Lehner, who is expected to win the award, said Friday in East Meadow as the Islanders resumed their playoff practices. “It’s a collective thing and a huge honor.”
Lehner, the Blue Jackets’ Nick Foligno and the Sharks’ Joe Thornton were announced as Masterton finalists Friday in voting conducted by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association. The award is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey, and the winner will be announced at the NHL Awards show in Las Vegas on June 19.
Lehner went 25-13-5 with a 2.13 goals-against average and .930 save percentage after signing a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Islanders. He set career bests in wins and GAA.
Lehner and Thomas Greiss shared the Jennings Trophy as the Islanders allowed an NHL-low 196 goals after giving up 293 goals last season, the most in the NHL since 2007.
“It wouldn’t have been possible without all the pieces around me, starting from my family and friends and going throughout this whole team,” said Lehner, who publicly acknowledged his issues on the first day of training camp. “The relationship between me and Greisser, pushing each other, supporting each other.”
Lehner added that his former organizations, the Sabres and Senators, deserve “huge shout-outs” for providing continued support.
“You’re most proud of what he’s done as a person and how he’s handled whatever his past was,” Islanders president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said. “He’ll certainly be up for different awards. No question, he’s most deserving of that. But his focus is not on that. He’s as team guy as there is on that ice.”
Added coach Barry Trotz, “It’s a hard journey, and he’s handled it very well.”