Robin Lehner clarifies remarks on pill distribution after controversial Twitter thread

·3-min read
MONTREAL, QC - JUNE 24: Look on Las Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner (90) during the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Semifinals game 6 between the Las Vegas Golden Knights versus the Montreal Canadiens on June 24, 2021, at Bell Centre in Montreal, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Vegas Golden Knights goalie Robin Lehner (90) made some controversial remarks on Twitter on Saturday. (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Robin Lehner has aired his grievances — now what comes next?

The Vegas Golden Knights netminder made waves on Twitter on Saturday, calling attention to several issues while raising a few previously unknown to most. In what started as an effort to call attention to the situation of his former teammate Jack Eichel, who is embroiled in a stalemate with the Buffalo Sabres over the treatment and future intervention of his neck injury, Lehner shone the light on potential issues the NHL may have with pain and pain medication.

Lehner shared his experience with pain and pills, and how he was given medication without any care or worry about the impact it would have in the long-term. He suggested it was common for NHL teams to offer athletes with unprescribed Ambien and benzodiazepines to help with pain and sleep. His focus then abruptly shifted to the the Philadelphia Flyers and head coach Alain Vigneault, an organization and coach he has not played for. He called Vigneault a "dinosaur" for treating people like robots and "not human" as part of a Twitter thread that essentially accused several NHL teams of medical malpractice.

Lehner called out the NHL in the thread, vowing to continue sharing perceived ugly truths until the issues are addressed. He did add that he was concerned the NHL would "cancel" him.

The NHL has since reached out to Lehner to request a meeting, according to reports. It's also believed that Lehner had a meeting with the NHLPA on Sunday.

Lehner has since clarified some of the remarks, including the perceived accusations against Vigneault. He told Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman that he did not mean to suggest that Vigneault was distributing pills, but allege general mistreatment of players.

Vigneault was caught off guard by the criticism, telling local reporters in a media availability that he has "no idea where that comes from."

"I consider myself experienced. A dinosaur? You could say with experience you become a dinosaur maybe," Vigneault added. "But I do know I've been coaching a few years and I am tough, I am demanding, but I care about my players. Through the years, probably, there are some guys who liked me and probably some a little less, but I've done it with the best intention (and) with respect."

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