Flyers coach Alain Vigneault responds to Robin Lehner social media posts
The Philadelphia Flyers had a very tough season in 2020-21. Things are already off to a rocky start thanks to Robin Lehner’s Twitter tirade over the weekend.
According to Elliotte Friedman, both the NHL and NHLPA reached out to Lehner on Sunday. There will be more to come, as he presents his grievances.
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Robin Lehner calls on Flyers to fire Alain Vigneault
It all began when Lehner went to bat for Jack Eichel and asking why the NHLPA was so silent about his desire to have an artificial disc replacement. The Sabres are unwilling to let him do so because no active NHL player has had the procedure and would like him to get a traditional fusion operation.
“I hate it.” Lehner said on the Spittin’ Chiclets podcast . “I know [teams] put investments into us, but your body is your body. If Eichel wants to have his surgery, how hard is it for them to have him sign a waiver and if it goes wrong they don’t pay him?”
The 30 year-old goalie and advocate for mental health took it a step further on Sunday, calling out the use of anxiety medications and ambient. In a series of tweets, one in particular came from left field. It called on the Flyers to fire Alain Vigneault.
“Philadelphia Flyers? Dinosaur coach treating people [like] robots not human,” he tweeted. “Fire these dinosaurs. Fire Vigneault first story. I got proof.. try to shake your way out of this one.”
Due to it coming directly after a tweet about medication, it wasn’t clear if there was a direct correlation.
Update Per ESPN’s Emily Kaplan: Robin Lehner clarifies: he never was accusing Alain Vigneault of distributing pills to players. His claim was about the way the coach treats players, which he believes is unacceptable. Lehner had a good call with the NHLPA yesterday. We’ll see what comes of the story this week.
Alain Vigneault responds to Robin Lehner
The Flyers head coach was asked about Lehner’s comments and provided the following response.
“I don’t know the young man (Lehner),” he began. “Two things he said about me was I was a dinosaur… if you say with experience you become a dinosaur then maybe. I’ve been coaching a few years, and I am tough, and I am demanding. But I care about my players.”
When it came to the topic of medication, the 60 year-old veteran bench boss was direct. “As far as me pushing pills – I don’t need another income,” he said. “I have no idea where that comes from. I don’t know what else to say.” Vigneault added that he was disappointed in the claims directed his way and said they were false.
Earlier today, Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher came out with a strong statement of his own.
“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,” he said per Sam Carchidi. “We have no reason to believe any of our players have received improper care.”