Following an incredible bounce-back season, Lehner was nominated for the Vezina Trophy as the league's best goalie, but it's his nomination for the Bill Masterton Trophy - an award given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey - that he values most.
"Both are fun, but the Masterton means a lot more to me and my wife and my kids,” Lehner said, according to TSN's Frank Seravalli. "Just being nominated for that award is huge for me and my family. I think it's huge for everyone that’s been supporting me, too."
In September, Lehner detailed his battle with substance abuse and bipolar disorder in an inspirational piece for The Athletic. That came after the 27-year-old signed a one-year, $1.5-million contract with the Islanders in July.
The goalie quickly proved to be one of the best bargains of the summer. In 46 games with New York, Lehner collected 25 wins while posting a 2.13 goals-against average and a 9.30 save percentage.
No goaltender has ever won the Masterton and Vezina in the same season.
Lehner is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but he's made it clear that he'd like to return to the Islanders next season.