The goalie had his best NHL season after struggling with addiction and mental health issues.
New York Islanders goalie Robin Lehner won the Masterton Trophy at the 2019 NHL Awards on Wednesday and delivered a powerful message on mental health after receiving the award.
Lehner, who revealed that he was struggling with addiction and mental health issues in an article written for The Athletic during training camp, called on the audience to "end the stigma" surrounding mental illness.
"I'm not ashamed to say I'm mentally ill, but that does not mean I'm mentally weak," Lehner said.
Lehner is coming off his best NHL season, going 25-13-5 with a 2.13 goals-against average, .930 save percentage and six shutouts. Lehner previously wrote that he hoped his story would "help make a difference and help others the way I have been helped."
"I want people to know that there is hope in desperation, there is healing in facing an ugly past and there is no shame in involving others in your battle," he added.
The Masterton Trophy is voted upon by the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association and is given to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Lehner joins Ed Westfall (1977) and Mark Fitzpatrick (1992) as the only Islanders to win the award.