As is so often the case, the Stanley Cup finals ended this week and were promptly followed by a river of trade rumours and speculative chatter.
It's no secret that the Oilers desperately need to acquire a goalie this summer—this should be item number one on Chiarelli's list—and while Robin Lehner's name has been linked to the team for a some time now as a trade option and a possible fit, Bruce Garrioch of the Ottawa Sun added some fuel to the fire yesterday.
"It’s believed the Edmonton Oilers are the leading contender for Lehner while the Buffalo Sabres and Calgary Flames have both held talks. It’s doubtful the Senators will be able to get a top-six forward in return but they may be able to package up either Colin Greening or David Legwand to get a contract off the books."
A second round draft pick in 2009, Lehner is a big one standing at six-foot-four. Much like Cam Talbot of the New York Rangers, he hasn't yet had the opportunity to prove himself as a starter at the NHL level. What he's done, instead, is played a steadily declining game at that level serving as a back-up on the Senators.
In 2012-2013, he posted an impressive 0.936 save percentage in twelve NHL games and 0.938 in 31 AHL games with Binghamton. The following season he saw his workload increase to 36 games in the NHL and his save percentage decrease to a pedestrian 0.913. That trend continued into 2014-2015 when he managed a save percentage of 0.905 in 25 games played.
Lehner's past three seasons paint a picture of a team losing confidence in the goalie they drafted, and for good reason, as his performance has declined accordingly.
As for an asking price, Garrioch shed a little light on that as well:
"That’s why Murray hasn’t lowered what’s believed to be his asking price of a top-six forward and a pick."
If Bryan Murray gets anywhere close to that I'll be a monkey's uncle. Robin Lehner has done little to outperform the original asset—a mid-second round draft pick—used to originally acquire him, and I'd be hesitant to pay anything close to that to grab him in a trade.
For the record, Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal suggested the following as a possible return:
Sens would likely want Oilers pick in round 2, plus a young player for Lehner.#oilers.— Jim Matheson (@NHLbyMatty) June 18, 2015
As far as the Oilers are concerned, I hope Robin Lehner isn't the option they settle with. And if he is, it best not be for the assets Bryan Murray is allegedly asking for.