As the Canucks moved past the dead puck era and into the colourful future, the goalie masks saw an uptick in creativity. It wasn’t just the starters that had a jazzy looking lid but the backups did, too! My next conversation features a popular Swede who went from Manitoba to Chicago in the AHL and eventually made the jump to the Canucks serving as Roberto Luongo’s backup.
He eventually succeeded Luongo as the starter, all the while, becoming a fan-favourite and sharing his love of tacos with everyone. My next guest is the man himself, Eddie Lack.
Here we go.
Ryan Hank: The Canucks afforded you a good selection of designs to choose from including your time with the Moose and Wolves, how much input did you have on each one?
Eddie Lack: I could do whatever I wanted really with my masks. Always good to have something with a team logo on it but other than that it was up to me.
RH: You had, on my count, four masks with the Canucks including the fan-designed one, aside from the fan one, what was your favourite design and why?
EL: I loved the heritage classic one with all the Top Swedes that played in Vancouver on it. Super happy to have Thomas Gradin on it as I saw him a lot in and around the rink and I grew very fond of him.
RH: The Heritage Classic mask gave you a chance to do something different, what was the reason for putting all the Canucks on that one specifically?
EL: I just wanted to pay tribute to the people that took the best care of me when I was there and a tribute to the Swedes was easy. So many good Swedish players played in Vancouver over the years too. Kinda a mix of Vancouver and home for me. That’s why it’s my favourite.
RH: From what I can tell, you incorporated the orca, stick, and Johnny Canuck on every mask, did you ever worry about it being too crowded or did you chat with Dave (Gunnarsson) about keeping it proportionate?
EL: I never worried about it being too crowded. I just knew what I wanted and wanted to be able to fit it all on there. My mask was for me and I honestly didn’t care what people thought. It was just a way for me to express myself.
RH: Totally agree. Speaking of Dave Gunnarsson, how did you two hook up? He’s from Sweden but aside from that connection, what was the start there?
EL: So David and I created our first mask together when I was like 15 or something and he’s been doing it ever since for me. He’s the best in the business and I never had any thoughts of going to anyone else. He’s also the nicest guy in the world so I’m very fortunate to have met him.
RH: Switching to your Chicago days, I don’t ever remember you wearing your “wolfy” mask but I guess you didn’t play for Vancouver in 2012. Did it ever make it into a Canucks game?
EL: Wolfy never made it to the NHL and didn’t play a lot at all that year since I had my hip surgery. With the pads that’s one of my favourite setups as well.
RH: You have some impressive taste that’s for sure. Let’s keep it going, your love for tacos hasn’t exactly been a secret so have you ever put a taco on any of your masks and the second part to this question is what is in the perfect taco? I know I ask the hard-hitting questions
EL: Haah, never had a taco but it’s tattooed on my arm so I guess that’s enough? Favourite taco is in order: Ground beef, cheese, corn, tomato, pepper, salsa, guacamole, and sour cream.
RH: I can’t do peppers personally but I substitute about a billion different hot sauces to make up for it. Is there a hot sauce that is a must for you, I have like three different kinds on mine: sriracha, tabasco/franks, and usually some other random one.
EL: Haha I’m a Swedish basic bitch I just ventured to the medium salsa haha.
RH: I started adding organic Costco salsa. Not a bad choice either. OK, a couple more, thanks for hanging in there. What is your favourite mask from another goaltender and why?
EL: I loved Eddie the Eagle’s masks. Since I played with him his last year playing I have so much respect for him and looking back at what he’s done for the goaltending position. His masks are just so clean but I especially love to Blackhawks ones I think they look great. King Henrik has a lot of cool ones too
RH: Growing up, his eagle look was a staple for any fan of goalie masks. Henrik’s Statue of Liberty is a work of art as well. FINAL question: If you could make one more mask assuming you were on this current team, is there another design you would have loved to have done?
EL: I’m pretty happy with the masks I’ve had I wouldn’t change anything. Maybe a full taco mask lol.
RH: Thanks again Eddie, this has been so much fun. I appreciate you letting me pick your brain for a little while.
I love Eddie Lack. That guy just has so much personality and when he was saddled with Roberto, I can only imagine how much fun those guys had together. That’s it for this one but there will be more.