Robin Lehner returned to Long Island earlier this past weekend, a place that revitalized his career in 2018-19.

Carolina Hurricanes v New York Islanders - Game One
Robin Lehner played for the Islanders in 2018-19 / Getty Images
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In his first game at the new UBS Arena, the Islanders honored Lehner for his time with the team, as well as his courageous battles with addiction and mental health issues. Needless to say, there were very few dry eyes in the house as the video tribute hit the board.

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pic.twitter.com/bZySoaAzNu what a road trip. Thanks so much @NYIslanders and all fans. I love you guys and will forever be in my heart ❤️ finally got to come back and see you guys.

— Robin Lehner (@RobinLehner) December 19, 2021


Robin Lehner joined the Islanders from another team in New York state, the Buffalo Sabres. Lehner was a promising young goaltender early in his career, but had fallen on hard times in Buffalo. As it turned out, those hard times were both on and off the ice, as Lehner has later opened up about significant issues with substance abuse and mental health during his early career.

Buffalo Sabres v New York Islanders
Lehner claims his time on Long Island saved his life / Getty Images
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Lehner joined the Islanders for the 2018-19 season, and looked like a completely revitalized player in New York that season. Lehner joined the Spittin' Chiclets podcast earlier this year, and talked about his experience on Long Island, saying that Long Island hockey fans saved his life.

Based on those comments, and the tattoo Lehner would later point to, the reunion between him and the Islanders' faithful was an emotional one, but a proud one for him.

He returned to Long Island healthier, happier, and in a better place. And that's plenty of reason to celebrate.

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