The Vegas Golden Knights were marred by injuries throughout the 2021-22 season, and the injury woes are continuing before the 2022-23 campaign has even begun.
Thursday morning, the Golden Knights announced goaltender Robin Lehner is set to undergo hip surgery that will keep him out of commission for the entire 2022-23 season. There is currently no timetable for his return.
NEWS: Robin Lehner is expected to miss the entire 2022-23 NHL season after it was determined that he will require hip surgery. An exact timeline of his recovery is to be determined. #VegasBorn— Vegas Golden Knights (@GoldenKnights) August 11, 2022
The loss of Lehner could potentially be catastrophic for the Golden Knights. The 31-year-old has dealt with numerous injuries since the Golden Knights acquired him at the trade deadline in 2020, but when healthy, he’s shown flashes of All-Star potential. In 66 games as a member of the Golden Knights, Lehner has posted a .910 save percentage and 2.61 goals against average with a solid 39-21-4 record.
With Lehner out for the season, barring a trade, the Golden Knights will likely turn to Logan Thompson to serve as their primary backstop in net. Thompson, 25, has appeared in 20 total games as an NHLer — all with the Golden Knights — since signing with the club as an undrafted free agent in July of 2020.
Thompson played admirably down the stretch for the Golden Knights last season, though his efforts alone weren’t enough to help guide the team to its fifth straight playoff appearance. In 19 games, Thompson logged a .914 save percentage and 2.68 goals against average.
Beyond Thompson, the Golden Knights also have veteran netminder Laurent Brossoit under contract, but he, too, underwent surgery this offseason and is not guaranteed to be in ideal shape to start the regular season. This leaves Michael Hutchinson, a journeyman goaltender who the Golden Knights signed to a one-year contract last month, as the ideal candidate to back up Thompson in the cage for the foreseeable future.
Hutchinson, 32, has appeared in just 10 NHL games since the start of the 2020-21 season. Last season, Hutchinson went 11-10-5 in 28 appearances for the AHL’s Toronto Marlies.