Lehner expected to miss 2022-23 season with hip injury
Lehner battled numerous injuries last season, and his campaign ultimately ended when he underwent shoulder surgery in April. Despite being banged up, he posted a .907 save percentage and a 2.83 goals-against average in 44 appearances. His 9.81 goals saved above expected ranked 13th among all goalies with at least 20 games played, according to Evolving-Hockey.
The 31-year-old owns a lifetime .917 save percentage and a .910 mark since the Golden Knights acquired him from the Chicago Blackhawks in 2020. He has three years remaining on his contract, which carries a $5-million cap hit.
The Golden Knights are currently $5.8 million over the cap, per CapFriendly, so placing Lehner on LTIR will help them get closer to becoming compliant.
Logan Thompson, who's appeared in just 20 career NHL games, currently projects as Vegas' No. 1 goaltender. The 25-year-old showed promise as a rookie, posting a .914 save percentage. He also carries a bargain cap hit of $766,667 for the next three campaigns.
Veteran backup Laurent Brossoit is also in the mix, but his status for the start of training camp is unclear after he also underwent offseason hip surgery. Journeyman Michael Hutchinson is next on the club's depth chart.
No established goaltenders remain available in unrestricted free agency. Jean-Francois Berube, 30, played six games last season - the most of any remaining UFA goalie. So if Vegas is looking to add a fresh face to its crease, it may have to come via trade.
- Dumba not worried about trade, extension entering contract year
- Canucks' Boeser expected to miss start of season after hand surgery
- Fantasy: 5 potential NHL sleepers to steal late in drafts
- Ranking the NHL's 6 best defense pairings entering 2022-23
- Panarin seeking more complete game: 'I need to be everywhere'