Eddie Lack announced his retirement from Professional Hockey, via a video he posted on his Twitter account on Monday afternoon.
It time for me to RETIRE. The next 7 minutes are a tribute to All of you that were with me during this crazy ride and my way of saying – THANK YOU.
P.S. Luongo might be in the video … (1/4) pic.twitter.com/bCsc93QCRD
— Eddie Lack?? (@eddielack) March 30, 2020
Eddie Lack Retires
The 6’4” Swedish goaltender spent five seasons in the NHL with four organizations. He holds a career of 56-55-18 record with a 2.62 goals-against average and .909 save percentage. While he never won a Stanley Cup, he did win a gold medal with Sweden at the World Championships playing behind Henrik Lundqvist.
Lack was at his best when he first burst onto the NHL scene with the Vancouver Canucks. Originally undrafted, he was signed by the Canucks in 2010 when his impressive performances in the Swedish Premier League were noticed by Canucks scout, Lars Lindgren.
During the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons in British Columbia, Lack had a save percentage of .916 and 34 wins in 82 games. What’s more, according to advanced analytics, Lack performed well as a Canuck. He ranked 22nd in Goals Saved Above Expected out of 57 goaltenders*. Similarly, he was 26th in High Danger Save Percentage among the same group.
*Minimum qualification was playing at least 2000 mins of ice time
Eddie Lack was thrust into regular action with the Canucks due to constant goaltending changes as the franchise started to contemplate a rebuild. Cory Schneider was traded to the Devils, franchise legend, Roberto Luongo was traded to the Panthers and Ryan Miller got injured half-way through the 2014-15 season.
The Injury Years
Lack was later traded to the Carolina Hurricanes during the 2015 draft and from there, his career took a turn for the worse. In the next three years, he was bottom in both Save Percentage (.898) and Goals Saved Above Expected (-0.44) for goalies averaging 20 games per season.
He started the 2017-18 season for the Calgary Flames and by November, he was with the New Jersey Devils. He would not play in the NHL in 2018, serving his contract with the Binghamton Devils in the AHL.
In 2017, his poor form was called out by the then Hurricanes coach, Bill Peters. He roasted the goaltender for conceding four goals on 16 shots in an overtime loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. “You look at his numbers in the league and they’re not good enough… When he gets in again he better play”. It was a harsh calling out, especially in hindsight, given that Lack has had to call time for injury-related reasons.
Indeed, his career was fraught with trials and tribulations due to a recurring hip injury that hampered a lot of his potential to perform on a consistent basis. After two seasons in Vancouver and then two with the Carolina Hurricanes, Lack only managed eight more games at the highest level. He conceded four or more goals in seven of those eight appearances. Finally, the constant injury concerns have forced him into early retirement at the age of 32.
While his playing career is over he will remain involved as the Assistant Head Coach of the Sun Devils at Arizona State University. With him on the coaching staff, ASU saw success during the 2019-20 season. The Sun Devils recorded their most successful regular season (.653) since their inception into the NCAA in 2015. Lack is now planning to carve out a career in the Real Estate business, in Phoenix, where he currently resides.
All the best Eddie!
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