Goaltender Robin Lehner has proved himself again in Chicago and heads to Vegas to help the Golden Knights' playoff push. Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Vegas Golden Knights swooped in at the last moment to land the best goaltender on the market, snatching Robin Lehner from the Chicago Blackhawks, according to multiple reports.

The Golden Knights have also acquired Nick Cousins from the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 2021 fourth-round pick.

Lehner’s arrival in Vegas comes as the team is playing its best hockey of the season, on a six-game winning streak and in first place in the Pacific Division. The big goaltender is having another excellent campaign, registering a .918 save percentage in 33 appearances for the Blackhawks. Lehner is on just a one-year, $5M deal that he signed in the summer to prove his worth once again, but just a small portion of that will have to be covered by the Golden Knights at this point in the season.

The fact that the Knights have now brought in another legitimate starter only strengthens their position in the Western Conference and makes them a contender once again for the Stanley Cup. Marc-Andre Fleury’s struggles had been the only thing really holding them back, but with Lehner added they should be hard to beat.

The question now is what happens in the offseason if Fleury doesn’t bounce back down the stretch. His contract carries a $7M cap hit for each of the next two seasons, but the team now has an opportunity to convince Lehner to stay if it chooses.

Cousins is also not to be overlooked. The 26-year-old is on an expiring contract aswell but will be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. In 317 career games he has just 95 points, but Cousins can offer some secondary scoring and defensively reliable minutes in the bottom six. He represents some extra depth for a team that is loaded at this point.

This article first appeared on Pro Hockey Rumors and was syndicated with permission.


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Can you name every No. 1 pick in NHL Draft history?
2019 / NJ
Jack Hughes
2018 / BUF
Rasmus Dahlin
2017 / NJ
Nico Hischier
2016 / TOR
Auston Matthews
2015 / EDM
Connor McDavid
2014 / FLA
Aaron Ekblad
2013 / COL
Nathan MacKinnon
2012 / EDM
Nail Yakupov
2011 / EDM
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
2010 / EDM
Taylor Hall
2009 / NYI
John Tavares
2008 / TB
Steven Stamkos
2007 / CHI
Patrick Kane
2006 / STL
Erik Johnson
2005 / PIT
Sidney Crosby
2004 / WSH
Alexander Ovechkin
2003 / PIT
Marc-Andre Fleury
2002 / CBJ
Rick Nash
2001 / ATL
Ilya Kovalchuk
2000 / NYI
Rick DiPietro
1999 / ATL
Patrik Stefan
1998 / TB
Vincent Lecavalier
1997 / BOS
Joe Thornton
1996 / OTT
Chris Phillips
1995 / OTT
Bryan Berard
1994 / FLA
Ed Jovanovski
1993 / OTT
Alexandre Daigle
1992 / TB
Roman Hamrlik
1991 / QUE
Eric Lindros
1990 / QUE
Owen Nolan
1989 / QUE
Mats Sundin
1988 / MNS
Mike Modano
1987 / BUF
Pierre Turgeon
1986 / DET
Joe Murphy
1985 / TOR
Wendel Clark
1984 / PIT
Mario Lemieux
1983 / MNS
Brian Lawton
1982 / BOS
Gord Kluzak
1981 / WPG
Dale Hawerchuk
1980 / MTL
Doug Wickenheiser
1979 / COR
Rob Ramage
1978 / MNS
Bobby Smith
1977 / DET
Dale McCourt
1976 / WSH
Rick Green
1975 / PHI
Mel Bridgman
1974 / WAS
Greg Joly
1973 / NYI
Denis Potvin
1972 / NYI
Billy Harris
1971 / MTL
Guy Lafleur
1970 / BUF
Gilbert Perreault
1969 / MTL
Rejean Houle
1968 / MTL
Michel Plasse
1967 / LA
Rick Pagnutti
1966 / BOS
Barry Gibbs
1965 / NYR
Andre Veilleux
1964 / DET
Claude Gauthier
1963 / MTL
Garry Monahan

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