WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Goalie Robin Lehner,
who has battled addiction and mental-health issues, was announced on Thursday as the Islanders’ nominee for the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to the sport as voted upon by the team’s chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.
“It’s a nice honor,” said Lehner, who entered Thursday night’s 5-4 win over the Jets at 22-12-5 with a 2.17 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage, both of which rank third in the NHL.
“It couldn’t be done without everyone’s help and support,” added Lehner, who signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Islanders as an unrestricted free agent. “[The award] is how you deal with adversity. You just do everything you can to keep on playing a game you love. I’m privileged to be in this spot. It’s been a rough time that I’ve been able to get out of it. It’s more the mental support, just being accepting of the flaws that I’ve had and not being judgmental.”
“You think about his struggles on and off the ice, it’s a pretty incredible story,” coach Barry Trotz said. “I’m so proud of what he’s done with his life.”
The Masterton winner from among the league’s 31 nominees, as voted upon by the PHWA, will be announced at the NHL Awards Show in Las Vegas in June. The Islanders’ Mark Fitzpatrick (1992) and Ed Westfall (1977) have won the award.
The Islanders could not convert on back-to-back penalties to Mathieu Perreault bridging the end of the second period and the start of the third period. They were 1-for-4 on the man advantage and are 2-for-41 over 18 games . . . Tom Kuhnhackl logged 8:27 in his 200th NHL game. He played because Tanner Fritz was unavailable because of an unspecified injury . . . Forward Oliver Wahlstrom, the 11th overall pick in 2018, agreed to a three-year, entry-level deal that will begin in 2019-20. The 6-1, 207-pound Wahlstrom is expected to join Bridgeport (AHL) on an amateur tryout offer after recording eight goals and 11 assists in 36 games as a Boston College freshman.