The Craig Anderson signing has big implications for 19-year-old netminder Robin Lehner, who hopes to be No. 1 in Ottawa some day. Here’s what Lehner told the Binghamton Press and Sun-Bulletin’s Joy Lindsay a day after the deal.
On meeting with Bryan Murray in Ottawa last week: “Bryan is a really good GM, and as a person, too. He’s easy to get along with. He’s both hard and strict on you, but he’s also honest. He just told me what’s going to happen going forward, what he wanted from me, and what he wanted me to do going forward. He said if I do what I do, if I play good and have a good summer and stuff, they are not going to count me out, I think.
But it’s a lot of hard work. I’m just doing the best I can right now to kind of get some play time, if not this year, then next year and just try to develop as good as I can, as I know I can. The meeting was great. He addressed some stuff that I need to be better at, and that he wanted me to be better at, and I listened. I’m going to try to do what he wants me to.”
On the Anderson signing: “It’s perfect. Signing a contract is, obviously, it’s big. It’s a four-year contract. It’s a big contract. I’m really happy for Anderson. He deserves it. I can’t think about that. There are people with long contracts all over the league. And it’s young people trying to get in. Before, all those guys that have the long contracts right now, was once they were rookies and trying to fight with the guys that had long contracts.
I’m just going to try to develop as much as I can and get some experience. It’s all about stopping the puck. If I stop a lot of pucks, then we’ll see what happens. When you sign a four-year contract, or any goalie in the league signs a four-year contract, it’s for they want stability. Ottawa deserves it. The team up there needs a first goalie, and I kind of want to work in the shade of it. When my time is there, when they think I’m ready and I can push for it, I’m going to try. But you never know where it’s at.
And it couldn’t be better than sign a goalie like Anderson, too, because he helps me a lot during practices. He talks to me. He gives me pointers and stuff like that. He’s a quality teammate, and you kind of need that to go around — even if it takes me one year, two years, three years or even 10 years, or if I ever play up there a solid amount of times. You can never predict the future. I know if I can make a push for it and start playing, then Anderson would be there. He’s a good guy that would still help me. He’s a good fit. He’s a really good fit in that organization. I don’t see anything bad, in my stance, because to be honest, people haven’t expected me to go in this year or next year as the first goalie anyway. They’re up there, and I have a lot left to learn. It depends how hard I work and how determined I am. You never know the time of it. It can be any time, and it’s basically all up to me now.”