Vegas goalie Robin Lehner accuses NHL teams of inappropriately providing prescription drugs to players
Lehner claimed that teams offered drugs to treat anxiety and insomnia to players without prescriptions. He implied that the Flyers were involved, and the team's GM refuted that.
In a series of social media posts Saturday night, Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner accused NHL teams, including the Flyers, of inappropriately providing prescription drugs to players.
On Twitter, Lehner said teams were offering benzodiazepines, which can treat anxiety and insomnia, and Ambien, used to treat insomnia, to players without prescriptions. He added that this “doesn’t happen” with his current squad, the Golden Knights, “but I know many other teams. I also been in on teams that do?”
The goalie has not offered any evidence to back up his claims. The Inquirer has reached out to Lehner, but he has not responded.
In a follow-up tweet to the initial mention of prescription drugs, Lehner implied that the Flyers and coach Alain Vigneault were involved.
“… Dinosaur coach treating people (like) robots,” he tweeted. “Fire #vigneault first story. I got proof. … try to shake your way out of this one.”
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In a statement Sunday, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher reacted to Lehner’s remarks.
“The health and well-being of our players is our top priority, and any care provided to them comes from the team’s health care professionals, not the coaching staff,” Fletcher said. “We have no reason to believe any of our players have received improper care.”
The NHL plans to reach out to Lehner, 30, following his accusations. The veteran goalie indicated in his posts that he would continue to release stories until the situation is addressed.
In August, Lehner also took verbal jab at Vigneault on Twitter, saying he had mishandled goalie Carter Hart.
“Great goalie with another example of old school coach making it more difficult for a young player to perform,” Lehner tweeted.
Lehner has never played for Vigneault.
Vigneault, the eighth-winningest coach in NHL history with 714 career victories, did not return a call asking for comment.
After the 2018-19 season, Lehner, then with the New York Islanders, won the Masterton Trophy, awarded for perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. That season, Lehner revealed his battles with alcoholism. He has been a strong advocate for mental-health awareness.
“I’m not ashamed to say I’m mentally ill — but that doesn’t mean mentally weak,” he said on the night he accepted the Masterton.