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Isles, Lehner Far Apart in Talks; Future Appears Elsewhere


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Robin Lehner had a remarkable season with the Islanders, but indications are that it will be the only one he plays with the team.


The Masterton and Jennings Trophy winner and the Isles are far enough apart on a contract that a league source said Lehner will almost certainly play elsewhere next season. The 27-year-old goalie turned his life around last spring and summer, finally getting a proper diagnosis of bipolar disorder and receiving treatment for substance abuse. Upon the start of training camp and having signed a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Isles, one of the few teams that had interest, he wrote the story of his recovery on this site and immediately became a role model for people, athletes and non-athletes alike, who struggle with mental illness.


When the season ended in a second-round sweep by the Hurricanes, it seemed a top priority for Lou Lamoriello to sign Lehner to a longer-term deal ? especially when the goalie repeatedly expressed his desire to stay on Long Island.


But as the days drew down towards the UFA contact period that began Sunday, the two sides were far apart still. Lamoriello appeared to be holding firm on a shorter deal for under $5 million while, as our Craig Custance noted earlier this week, anything under $5 million per was likely a non-starter for Lehner?s camp.



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