Brad Zeimer reported on Tuesday afternoon that highly regarded Canucks goaltending prospect and Twitter superstar Eddie Läck, inactive since November while dealing with hip flexor issues, has undergone a surgical procedure on his injured hip and will miss the rest of this season.
Goalie Eddie Lack out six months after hip surgery. #Canucks
— Brad Ziemer (@BradZiemer) January 29, 2013
The Canucks re-signed Eddie Läck this past summer, the lanky Swedish netminder was a restricted free-agent at the time, to an interesting contract. The two year pact stipulated that Läck would be on a two-way deal for this season, which his deal morphing into a one-way deal the following year. Obviously the idea was that Läck would play another full season in the AHL, following the familiar player development route taken by Cory Schneider, before being entrusted as Vancouver’s backup goalie for the 2013-14 season.
Read on past the jump.
Based on his blogging, his interviews and his personality on Twitter, Eddie Läck seems like a pretty awesome guy and we wish him all the best in his rehabiliation. A twenty-five year old goaltender who appears to be on the cusp of NHL readiness, Eddie Läck has pretty much been the best goaltender at the AHL level for the past two seasons. That Vancouver found an undrafted prospect of Läck’s quality was a major coup for Mike Gillis, and Lack’s outlook projects him as a sound bet to become a capable NHL backup going forward, or maybe even an average NHL starter.
It’s a tough break for Eddie Läck to lose pretty close to an entire season of development as a result of his hip flexor and the surgery he’s opted for in an effort to fix the issue, especially considering he was close to debuting in "the show." Luckily for the Canucks, it doesn’t appear that they’ll have to deviate too much from their development plan for "The Stork" in the wake of Tuesday’s injury news. While his current contract becomes a one-way deal at the end of this season, by my reading of the previous CBA he’ll still be waiver exempt(*) in the (now likely) event that Vancouver decides to assign him to whichever AHL affiliate they’re in cahoots with next fall.
(*) Because he signed his ELC three years ago at the age of 22, has yet to play 60 NHL games, he remains waiver exempt according to article 13.4 of the previous collective bargaining agreement. That presumes that waiver exemption rules under the new collective bargaining agreement – which is still being finalized – remain more or less unchanged (with the exception of the elimination of re-entry waivers, of course) from the previous agreement.
So the Canucks will still be able to send Eddie Läck to the AHL without risking losing him on waivers next fall (probably to Garth Snow and the waiver loving Islanders). That course of action may well prove necessary because, for all we know, the Canucks will still have Roberto Luongo on their roster to start the 2013-14 season…