NHL reaches out to Lehner after social media accusations

Sports
Robin Lehner, Gabriel Vilardi

Vegas Golden Knights goaltender Robin Lehner (90) makes as save against Los Angeles Kings center Gabriel Vilardi (13) during the first period of an NHL hockey preseason game Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

The NHL has reached out out to Robin Lehner to set up an interview after the goaltender made several accusations on social media, including that teams give players drugs without a doctor’s consent, a league spokesman confirmed to The Associated Press.

In a series of tweets Saturday, Lehner said he knows “many” teams that give sedatives and anxiety pills to players without a doctor’s prescription. He referenced the Philadelphia Flyers and coach Alain Vigneault and claimed to have proof.

In a statement Sunday, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher denied that allegation.

“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.”

Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly on Sunday morning said the league intended to speak with Lehner about his tweets. The league did not initially have plans to launch an independent investigation until the conversation with Lehner happens.

Lehner also accused the Buffalo Sabres of mismanaging an ankle injury when he played for them. His comments appeared to be related to the stalemate between Buffalo and now former captain Jack Eichel over how to treat a herniated disk.

The Sabres did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Lehner tweeted at the league and Players’ Association that they know how to reach him.

The 30-year-old Swede who plays for Vegas said the Golden Knights do not give players those drugs without doctor’s orders. He implied he’s prepared to share more information from around the league.

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AP Sports Writer Dan Gelston and Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report.

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More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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