Years of injuries have taken their toll on former Vancouver Canucks goaltender Eddie Lack, who announced he’s stepping away from pro hockey on Wednesday.
The 31-year-old announced that he will serve as a goalie coach for Arizona State University next season, though he hasn’t officially retired from playing.
“Dear fans and friends, my body won’t allow me to play professional hockey at this time,” Lack said on Twitter. “I still have a ways ahead of me in [physiotherapy] regarding my hips. Injuries are tough and I’m going to keep working hard daily, but I’ve been playing through hip pain the last six years, and with [physio] now I need to make sure I give myself the preparations I need to play at an NHL level again.
“In the meantime, because I’m not healthy enough to play or sign right now, I am happy to announce I will be the new goalie coach at Arizona State University. I love the game and I’m excited to share some of the knowledge I’ve gained in my professional career.”
“Thank you for your support.”
The lovable Swedish goalie became an instant fan favourite in Vancouver, pushing both Roberto Luongo and Ryan Miller during his two seasons with the Canucks. When Miller went down with an injury in 2015, Lack got on a roll, going 12-6-2 down the stretch to lead the Canucks to the playoffs.
Despite posting a .921 save percentage in 41 games, Lack was traded in the summer of 2015, and struggled ever since.
Lack posted save percentages of .901 and .902 respectively during his two years with the Carolina Hurricanes, before being dealt to the Calgary Flames after the 2016-17 season and then to the New Jersey Devils three months into the 2017-18 season.
Since leaving Carolina in 2016, Lack has appeared in just eight NHL games, and was limited to just six professional games last season with the Devils’ AHL affiliate in Binghamton.
Given his age and injury history, the odds are stacked against Lack to return to the NHL one day, though judging by his announcement, he’s certainly going to try. Hockey fans in Vancouver certainly hope he can complete the comeback.