When the Carolina Hurricanes acquired Eddie Lack in a draft-day trade in late June, they were excited to add a goaltender they felt was just coming into his own in the league and perhaps had his best years in front of him.
On Saturday afternoon, the Hurricanes secured Lack through the 2017-18 season with a two-year extension worth $5.5 million. The new contract will pay the 27-year-old netminder $2.5 million in 2016-17 and $3 million in 2017-18.
“We’ve been talking over the summer, and in the past week or so, it ramped up. I really, really like it here so far, and I’m happy to stay another two extra years,” Lack said Monday after practice. “I wanted to get it done here before the season started. I’ve been getting along good with everyone in the locker room, and it feels good to get it done.”
Lack’s effervescent demeanor and sharp wit has added character and a character to the Hurricanes’ room.
“We knew he was good before we ever got him,” head coach Bill Peters said. “Then getting him into the room and amongst our guys, he’s a real good personality and a real good goaltender.”
“He’s got that smirk of a smile. It seems like he has something up his sleeve,” Jordan Staal said of Lack on the first day of training camp. “We need a few more of those guys in the room to keep it light and fresh.”
Consider this repartee: when it was mentioned that Lack received a contract extension from his new team after playing in three preseason games, the Swedish netminder said, without missing a beat, “Must have played really good in those, right?”
Joking aside, he wasn’t really wrong. Lack logged 136 minutes of exhibition action in three games and posted a 2.21 goals-against average and .932 save percentage. Peters has named Cam Ward the team’s starting goaltender for Oct. 8, but Lack figures to be in the picture within the first handful of games of the season.
“Eddie seems like a good dude and a great goalie,” Staal said in September. “Hopefully he can contribute and do some really good things for us. We’re happy to have him on our squad.”
“He’s got an upside, and he’s young as far as [goaltending] goes,” Peters said. “As he gains more experience and gets more comfortable with the way we play and play in the defensive zone, I expect good things from Eddie.”
Prior to being acquired by the Canes in June, Lack appeared in 41 games for the Canucks in each of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. He compiled an 18-13-4 record with a 2.45 goals-against average and .921 save percentage in the 2014-15 campaign, which included a 12-6-2 record from Feb. 24-April 9, when he took over the Canucks’ starting job after Ryan Miller suffered a knee injury.
Now, Lack is one of a few new, personable faces gracing the Hurricanes locker room, and it is slated to remain that way through 2018. Lack finds that security comforting.
“Obviously, the money is the best I’ve had so far in my career, but just knowing that I’m going to be a part of this organization – I feel like we have something good going on here,” Lack said. “We have a lot of young, good and interesting players, and it’s really something I want to be a part of.”
With his future set in writing, Lack can now turn his undivided attention to the 2015-16 campaign with his new team.
“It felt like both sides want to get it done, so I was happy we could get it done this quick,” he said. “I feel more secure going into this season, and I can just focus on hockey and our team game here.”
So, the $5.5 million question: how many tacos will his new contract buy?
“I won’t starve, that’s for sure,” he quipped.
is the Web Producer for the Carolina Hurricanes.Email