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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