Ex-Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack is taking the next step in his career.
The 31-year-old netminder announced on Twitter that he’s been playing through hip pain the last six years and his body isn’t allowing him to play professional hockey at this time. Lack announced that he’s taking a break from manning the crease and will become the new goalie coach at Arizona State University.
Update on my career. Thank you pic.twitter.com/n9piLTDLun
— Eddie Lack (@eddielack) August 14, 2019
Lack has played 144 career games over five years in the NHL, but his best seasons arguably came when he was a backup for the Canucks. After Lack went unselected in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, the Canucks signed the promising Swedish netminder as a free agent in 2010.
Lack impressed the organization immediately, being named to the AHL’s all-rookie team after posting a .926 save percentage with the Manitoba Moose in 2010-11. He got the nickname “The Stork” for his long, skinny and flexible legs. Lack made his NHL debut in 2013, playing 41 games in each of his back-to-back seasons as the backup to Roberto Luongo.
One Eddie Lack memory that Vancouver fans will never forget is when head coach John Tortorella surprised everyone and benched the starter Luongo in favor of Lack for the highly anticipated 2014 Heritage Classic game against the Ottawa Senators. Luongo was traded to Florida two days later.
“There’s no hiding it. I did want to play that game,” Luongo, in recalling that day, told reporters. “I mean that goes without saying, and if I would have played I probably would maybe still be here. Who knows?”
— Eddie Lack (@eddielack) January 2, 2017
While he wasn’t the starter in Vancouver, Lack won over many fans due to his fun personality and great sense of humour. He was always cracking jokes and was never afraid to poke fun at himself. His best year came in 2014-15 when he posted an 18-13-4 record for the Canucks with a .921 save percentage.
Lack was traded to the Hurricanes in the 2015 offseason and was never able to take that next step in his career. He struggled with consistency in two seasons with Carolina before being traded to the Flames in 2017. He played just four games for Calgary before being moved once again — this time to the Devils.
After Lack played four games for New Jersey and 16 for AHL Binghamton in 2017-2018, the Devils re-signed the netminder to a one-year, one-way contract worth $650,000 in the 2018 offseason . Lack’s 2018-19 campaign was unfortunately derailed by hip issues, as he was forced to stop playing after a loss to Syracuse in November and required surgery on his left hip. Lack became a UFA this summer.
Lack hopes to one day play professional hockey again and will put his goaltending knowledge to use with Arizona State while he waits to get 100% healthy again.
Wishing all the best for the ex-Canuck in this next stage of his career.