Swedish Meatballs for All! Back-Up Goaltender Eddie Lack Gets 2-Year Deal

The soon-to-be 26 year old Swede was set to become a restricted free agent this summer. The deal is worth $2.3 million, which means that it’ll carry a $1.15 mil cap hit. A nice bump in pay from the $850k he’s making this season as the team’s back-up ‘tender.

Read on past the jump for more.

I’d say that the first 6 weeks or so of the season can only be classified as a success for ‘The Stork’. After posting a .899 save percentage behind a forgettable Chicago Wolves team last season, Lack spent the summer recovering from hip surgery.

There was somewhat of a goaltending battle for a while there between himself and Joacim Eriksson, but not really. Lack’s agent did a masterful job of negotiating his contract two summers ago, when he made sure that his client would be playing on a 1-way deal in 2013-14. Solely based on the logistics and business side of things, he was going to be the #2 barring a setback.

With the uncertainty on the health front, and the fact that he had never appeared in a regular season NHL game, there were a lot of people expressing their concern over the idea of having such an inexperienced back-up behind Roberto Luongo. 

That was silly. This whole ‘having a veteran who has been there before’ phenomenon when it comes to back-up goalies is stupid. We’ve seen a bunch of talented, but inexperienced guys do fine jobs in recent years playing behind the firmly entrenched starter on their team.

And guess what? He has been just fine when called upon this season. He has started 4 games – all on the second of a back-to-back – and posted a .911 save percentage. The team has won 2 of those appearances, but quite frankly, he gave them a legitimate shot to win every single one of them. His most notable performance came in the memorable overtime win in St.Louis, when a seriously depleted and tired Canucks squad went in and beat a well-rested Blues squad.

Going forward, I’d actually expect to see him get some more work than he has to this point. I have a hard time believing that the team wants their 34-year old starter to play more than 60-65 games, which means Lack should get the nod ~13-15 more times over the course of the final 61 games. I’m fine with that since he has proven that he’s up to the task.

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His tweets have become more sparse and slightly less hilarious since the season started, but he’s still one of the few athletes actually worth a follow out there. I know that there’s a bunch of Canucks fans out there that have established relationships with him due to his outgoing personality, so I’m sure the people of Vancouver will be happy with this news.

He’s not all fun and games, though, as Alex Steen learned the hard way:

    • Peachy

      Too many variables.

      He could get traded.

      Luongo could get traded.

      Lack’s shown well, but the sample size is still too small to say that he’s going to be a quality starter in the NHL.

      This contract allows both Lack and the Canucks enough time to figure out what he’s going to be.

    • Dimitri Filipovic

      Definitely not. But he doesn’t need to, if he keeps this up – and I think there’s reason to believe his numbers will even improve slightly – I’m sure the Canucks will take it.

      • Dimitri Filipovic

        Don’t forget, Lack was never really a prospect. He was discovered playing pro hockey in Sweden, hence his age. He has shown he can play at an extremely high level. His injury filled last year not withstanding, his career numbers are very good.
        Canucks sign him to a secure deal, and develop him either for trade or to turn him into the eventual starter.

  • Dimitri Filipovic

    Compared to what we were paying our backup last year, it’s a steal. A safe signing for both sides all things considered. Lack gets a little freedom and room to grow, and the Canucks get the same.