A few teams across the National Hockey League were looking to add a netminder during Monday's trade deadline, but the usual suspects, Carolina Hurricanes' Cam Ward and Arizona Coyotes' Antti Raanta remained with their respective team. Oh and let's not forget about Buffalo Sabres' controversial goalie Robin Lehner.
According to many sources, the Sabres number one goalie requested a trade, demanding that his team move him before the deadline. Which, to some, came as a surprise as just a week before his last-minute demand, Lehner had mentioned his desire to stay in Buffalo...
"You follow it a little bit," Lehner said to the Buffalo News. "We play in a pretty great league. Whether I stay here or go some place else, it's what it is but I'm definitely not looking at that. I feel like I'm putting in work and doing my best. We'll see what the future holds."
"I think when we're clicking and we're all playing the way we can, I think it looks good," Lehner said. "We've just all got to be on the same page and get that consistency. I don't give up. I have full trust in the guys and I don't like to give up. I don't like to bail out."
The New York Islanders and the Calgary Flames were reportedly looking to add in between the pipes, as the Flames keep struggling with injuries and the Islanders needed a boost in net to prove they can become a true contender.
But nothing happened. Today, we finally know why. The Sabres had to admit that no one wanted to acquire Lehner...
"[General manager Jason Botterill] discussed how you have to be careful to not make decisions based on what you heard, as opposed to what you see. One of Buffalo’s recent issues is spending so much on bad fits. Clearly, they made the choice to find out firsthand what they had. There wasn’t a market for Robin Lehner either. If Botterill’s discovered anything, it’s that this is a much bigger rebuild than he thought," writes NHL insider Elliotte Friedman in his latest 31 Thoughts column on Sportsnet.
Truth hurts, but remains the reality in Buffalo. However, Lehner went on to say - after the trade attempt fell through - that the rumor that he demanded a trade was fake news...
"That was fake news. It's funny how it works. Some blogger puts something out. I don't even know who that guy is and people jump on it. ... It's hilarious. This day and age, you don't have to put a source on it. It's not true," he said to Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News.
"I have no reason to not want to be here," Lehner added when he spoke to media members on Tuesday. "Obviously, things have to happen and we all understand that but I have no reason to want to get out of here."
"It's not true and I'm happy I'm still a Sabre."
We guess we will soon find out who was telling the truth in this story, as Lehner, who makes $4 million against the cap, is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July. If he does not re-sign in Buffalo, the reports of fake news might have been real in the end...
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