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Flyers coach ‘very disappointed’ by Robin Lehner’s accusations


NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MARCH 17: Head coach Alain Vigneault of the Philadelphia Flyers watches warm-ups prior to the game against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden on March 17, 2021 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Alain Vigneault pushed back against accusations of mistreatment made by Robin Lehner over the weekend.

In a series of Tweets that began with trying to bring attention to the stalemate between Jack Eichel and the Sabres over his medical options, the Golden Knights goaltender wrote that benzodiazepines and Ambien are among drugs given to players without a prescription. He also mentioned Vigneault, labeling the Flyers head coach a “dinosaur” and called for his firing.

“I was obviously very disappointed,” said Vigneault, who was alerted of Lehner’s comments by the Flyers communications department. “As far as me pushing pills, I don’t need another income. I have no idea where that comes from. I don’t know what else to say. I have no idea.”

Lehner clarified to ESPN’s Emily Kaplan that did not intend to accuse Vigneault of distributing pills to players, but wanted to criticize how the Flyers head coach has treated players.

“I don’t know the young man,” Vigneault added. "[He said] that I was a dinosaur. I consider myself experienced. Dinosaur? You can say that with experience you become a dinosaur, maybe? I do know that I’ve been coaching a few years. I am tough. I am demanding. But I care about my players. I want their best. Through the years, some guys have liked me and some guys a little bit less. But I’ve done it with the best intentions, with respect.”

NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly told the Associated Press that the league will reach out to discuss the accusations with Lehner, who mentioned he has spoken to the NHLPA about the issue.

“We take his comments seriously and we’d like in short order to be in a conversation with him so we can hear his concerns directly and we’re going to follow up to see what merit there may be to his concerns,” Commissioner Gary Bettman said on Monday’s Jeff Marek show. “You don’t have to tweet to get our attention. We have an 800 number people can call. You can call us directly, we’re an open book. But if he has concerns we want to hear them and see how they need to be addressed.”


Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.