Eddie Lack still has no idea if he’ll be traded from Vancouver.
Yet as of this morning, Bob McKenzie doesn’t even think the possibility of a Jacob Markstrom trade deserves a mention.
Teams possibly trading goalies: NYR (Talbot), OTT (Lehner), VAN (Lack), LA (Jones). Teams possibly trading for G: BUF, CGY, DAL, EDM, SJ.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 26, 2015
“I’ve been messaging Eddie back and forth all day. He doesn’t know what’s going on,” said Kevin Woodley, goaltending expert and editor of InGoal Magazine, yesterday. “He doesn’t know if he’s going anywhere.”
Woodley spoke with us yesterday. He pointed out NHL players are often kept in the dark with regards to their fate.
On the eve of the NHL Draft, Trevor Linden reiterated in a radio interview with TSN 1040 that the Canucks are committed to retrieving a second round draft pick. No one has any idea how they’ll achieve this yet, but you can bet if trading Lack’s the only way, they’ll make the move.
— Brittany (@TheBrittanyMW) June 23, 2015
We already know how Canucks fans will feel about this. Lack’s name was chanted at Rogers Arena as much as the team’s this past season, and three days ago fans launched an online petition to keep him in town.
So… they might start a riot. (We’re allowed to make jokes about ourselves, right?)
Everyone knows a large portion of the credit for Lack’s popularity goes to his personality. He was also, arguably, Vancouver’s best goaltender this past season. Sadly, he may be taking an even better version of his game to another team next year.
Woodley says one of the main reasons Lack will be better is he went out of his way to learn about the new goaltending technique called Head Trajectory this summer.
“This (Head Trajectory) is a very specific thing that Eddie has added to his repertoire,” says Woodley. “A lot of the things I pointed out as faults (in his game) at the end of the season are going to improve, if not be perfect by next year.”
“I can point at three or four goals that were scored on him in the playoffs that wouldn’t have gone in if he had this in his repertoire a year earlier. I honestly believe that.”
Head Trajectory, combined with Lack’s size, athleticism and desire to constantly improve will propel him to long term NHL success, says Woodley.
While he will go on record saying he believes Lack has the highest upside of the three Canucks goalies, Woodley thinks Miller is going to have a better year as well.
“I don’t think you can judge Miller on last year. He made changes in his game… he got hurt right when it looked like those changes were starting to work for him.”
The other goalie in the Canucks’ system is coming along too.
“I’ve said throughout, I believe Markstrom is an NHL goaltender. I’m not sure I believe he has the same upside (as Lack),” Woodley says, before comparing Markstrom to Stanley Cup finalist Ben Bishop. “Markstrom is huge, and he moves exceptionally well for his size.”
At the end of the day, the Canucks will have to weigh pros and cons of trading a goalie who will steal them some wins against a prospect who will help the team in a couple of years.
“If you think you can get a guy who’s going to be a 30 goal scorer, then, as high as I am on Lack, it’s kind of hard to argue with that,” says Woodley.
So what does Lack think the chances of his staying in Vancouver?
“He used to think it was 80-20. I think he thinks it’s 50-50 now.”