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Vegas Golden Knights netminder Robin Lehner has filed for bankruptcy after buying a collection of snakes for his snake farm.
That’s a wild sentence, but it gets even wilder.
Lehner purchased the snakes from a world-renowned breeder who was murdered just a few months after the sale.
Lehner— a two-time Jennings Trophy winner — and his wife filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in the District of Nevada late last year. The filing includes liabilities of up to $50 million and lists the NHL and Golden Knights as interested parties.
According to The New York Post, Lehner owns RL Exotics LLC which operates a reptile farm in Missouri. The reptile operation’s assets are valued between $1 million and $10 million and include three paid employees.
Lehner’s Snake Deal Goes South
The 2018-19 Masterton Trophy winner, reportedly wound up in this financial bind after buying a collection of exotic snakes from breeder Ben Renick. The deal was for $1.2 million, and Lehner made an initial payment of $200,000.
He only ever made that initial payment on the snakes. Lehner faced a lawsuit after having stopped payments. During this time, the Swedish goalie — who is open about his struggles with addiction and mental health — left a game with a panic attack.
Lehner countersued. He claimed that the snakes “began breeding amongst one another in an unsupervised, uncontrolled manner.” He said that he was out millions caring for the snakes and that their breeding caused them to lose value.
The year after the sale, Renick was murdered by his wife and her ex-boyfriend. The case even appeared on an episode of Dateline.
Renick’s wife, Lynlee Renick, is serving 16 years in prison for her role in the crime.
Lehner has not played a single minute this season after needing hip surgery.
Cap Friendly estimates that Lehner’s career earnings to date are around $30 million. He has a base salary of $6.5 million this season with a cap hit of $5 million.
The Vegas Golden Nights have Lehner signed through the 2024-25 NHL season.
In his absence, the Golden Knights have found superb netminding from rookie Logan Thompson. Vegas is currently first in the Pacific Division.
Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle