According to a report from Bruce Garrioch from the Ottawa Sun, the Canucks are looking to move Eddie Lack and the price is a 2nd round draft pick.
Eddie Lack Canucks
The Canucks are trying to make room for Jacob Markstrom and GM Jim Benning is seeking a second-round pick in return.
Garrioch mentioned that four other NHL goalies would likely be available, but only mentioned the asking price for Lack.
The Canucks will need to move one of their three goalies this offseason or they will lose one for nothing, given that they are all waiver-eligible.
At face value, a 2nd round pick appears to be a criminally low return for Lack, who won the hearts of Canucks fans this season. Lack played great when filling in for the injured Ryan Miller and finished with a .921 save percentage in 41 games. That was good enough for 12th in the league in save percentage, tying him Roberto Luongo.
But as we have seen, the goaltending market is a fickle one. There are only 30 starting jobs in the league and there are more than 30 goalies that are starter quality. The low price tag for Lack isn’t necessarily an indication that teams don’t value him as a starter, rather it is likely an indication that they have other options.
Lack is an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season. Given that he turns 28-years-old in January, it is likely that he will want to sign with a team that gives him a chance to be a #1 goalie.
Ryan Miller didn’t have a banner first year in Vancouver, finishing with a .911 save percentage, placing him 32nd in the league. The soon-to-be 35-year-old is signed for two more years and carries a $6 million cap hit. He is the 7th highest paid goaltender in the NHL.
Moving the older, more expensive goalie makes a lot of sense for the rebuilding/retooling Canucks, but Miller has a limited no-trade clause, which makes moving him difficult.
Meanwhile, Jacob Markstrom is enjoying a career-year in the AHL this season, finishing the regular season with a .934 save percentage. He is having an impressive playoffs for the Utica Comets and is one win away from making the Calder Cup Final. Markstrom has been good in the AHL for a while though, but so far he hasn’t been able to translate his success into the NHL, albeit with limited opportunity.
Markstrom has started just 43 NHL games, most of which came in 2012-13 behind a brutal Florida Panthers team. That season Markstrom posted a sub-par .901 SV% in 23 games, which actually was the best on the team. Markstrom has an NHL career save percentage of .896.
GM Jim Benning must be banking on a bounce-back season for Ryan Miller, who was making changes to his technique this season. He must also be banking on Jacob Markstrom, who is the youngest of the three netminders, to fulfill his potential and prove that he is not a career minor league goalie.
The best plan from where I sit, is to run with Eddie Lack and Jacob Markstrom. I’m not convinced that Lack is an elite goalie, but he could be. And so could Markstrom for that matter. Ryan Miller could still be the best goalie next season, but he isn’t getting any younger and at $6 million, Vancouver isn’t getting much bang for their buck.