Eddie Lack needed a new goalie mask after being traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in June. He made sure it included a familiar face: former Vancouver Canucks teammate Roberto Luongo, and he's added The Swedish Chef character from the Muppets.
"This time the Swedish Chef shows up on the mask itself! Ready to fix some tacos for Eddie!" artist David Gunnarsson wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday. "And on the backplate of the mask another buddy of Eddie shows up."
In July, Lack posted a picture on his verified Twitter account Wednesday with the caption, "New team but put something familiar on my mask," with Luongo's face visible on the back.
Lack and Luongo were teammates with the Canucks in the 2013-14 season before Luongo was traded to the Florida Panthers in March 2014. Luongo spent parts of eight seasons with Vancouver and he and Lack were and remain close friends.
Vancouver received the 66th pick in the 2015 draft and a seventh-round pick in 2016 for Lack, who was 18-13-14 with a 2.45 goals-against average and .921 save percentage last season. He took over the No. 1 role when Ryan Miller was injured in late February and went 12-6-2 in 21 appearances from Feb. 24-April 9.
"I matured as a person. From a goaltending standpoint, I feel like I've gotten so much better," Lack told the Hurricanes website on June 27. "To be honest, I still feel like I have a lot to give. I feel like I'm two or three years away from my prime. I'm never satisfied. I keep pushing forward, and that's what's going to help me in the long run."
After the trade to Carolina, Lack tweeted to Luongo saying, "This also mean we are closer to each other right?" Last May, Luongo tweeted pictures of him with Lack on a goalie-mask drawing.
The friends won't have to wait long to see each other; the Panthers visit the Hurricanes on Oct. 13, the third game of the season for each team.