We’ve seen so many expansion mock drafts over the past year that it’s almost sickening. Some mocks have one viable player along with a fairy tale roster. Others pick a team with a salary cap pushing the upper limit. Some don’t even follow the rules. Finally, The Hockey News broke the trend and came out with a mock draft that makes sense in their Expansion Issue. THN’s expansion roster had talent, youth, veteran leadership, cap-eaters and inexpensive risks. It’s close to the formula we expect George McPhee will use in June. To see the whole thing, you’ll have to pick up an issue, cause it’s no where to be found on the Internet.
THN’s formula seemed to put a surprisingly low on value goaltending. THN drafted Eddie Lack, Calvin Pickard and Malcolm Subban. One’s injured and the other two are unproven in the NHL. Altogether, the three goaltenders have started a total of 153 games and let in a combined 447 goals. Terrible. Luckily, Vegas wouldn’t be stuck with any of the three chosen. Lack and Pickard’s contracts come off the books after the Golden Knights inaugural season while Subban is an RFA after this season. All three are goaltenders with unappealing stats, inexpensive expiring contracts, proving THN had one thing in mind, mitigating risk between the pipes.
Lack started his first game this week after a two concussions. With Carolina in a fight for a wild card, Lack and the Canes lost 5-0 to the streaking Capitals. A tough assignment on Lack’s first day back.
I felt like I was chasing the game at first, I was all over the place. Maybe I wanted it too much, you know. I felt like I settled down in the second and made some good saves, and they got some good goals in the third. It’s never fun letting five goals in, for sure. One part of me feels like it’s fun being back and playing and everything, and one part of me is disappointed. -Eddie Lack, Carolina
Not a great start to Lack’s comeback. Critics say Lack has underachieved since his trade from Vancouver. In Carolina, Lack has backed up Conn Smyth goaltender Cam Ward. This year was supposed to be his takeover season but Lack’s long-term injury ripped up that plan. In five games this year the Swedish goaltender let in an overwhelming 20 goals. With parody running wild in the league, Carolina won’t be moving Lack in season. However, that could change this offseason and Vegas could benefit from the Lack of success. (YES! Best pun in SinBin.vegas history!)
It was tough, I mean, hockey is my life. When the hockey’s going bad, I kind of feel like everything else is falling apart, too. I kind of just went back to the basics and working a little deeper in the paint. That’s what I’ve been comfortable with before, you know? Obviously, with that (success), comes confidence and it’s just building. I feel like I’m in a pretty good state in my game right now. Mentally, too. -Eddie Lack
The 6’4 Swede is praised for his dynamic size in the net. His style of play has been compared to another monster, Ben Bishop. Lack has great agility, balance and awareness for his size. He sees well in traffic and can track the puck coming from the point. But it’s not all great with Lack. Here are his career stats: 108 Games Started/ W-L 47-47/298 Goals Allowed/ .910 SV%/2.61 GAA
THN suggests Lack will need to prove he can play 60+ games at a high level. With a fresh start, a new city, and a new franchise, Lack could take full advantage. Most importantly, THN partially chose Lack for his great locker room presence. He was described as having an infectious personality that plays well with teammates. That brings instant value to the Golden Knights. THN gets it.
Oh and Lack may already know his fate. He ignored this tweet from some dude in Vancouver.
@eddielack Would you rather remain in Carolina in a backup role or 1a-1b system depending on a your year or be a starting #1 in Vegas?
— Davis Pow (@davisonfire) February 6, 2017
And do this poor Davis gentleman a favor, follow him. 14 followers? Sheesh.
I wouldn’t mind seeing Lack wind up in Las Vegas by way of the expansion draft. He seems primed for a comeback and Carolina won’t have a ton of talent available in the draft for McPhee to take. Low risk high possible reward choice. I like it.
PS. I think you mean parity not parody and size is one thing on your goalie that shouldn’t be dynamic. No big deal, but I figured you’d want to get them right.
Lack is a has-been with one decent season in Vancouver, a style that is already dated and injury history. Not blue chips prospect. Subban has bombed in AHL and brief NHL. Best thing is shared name. Not a good sign. Pickard would be a solid guy but I bet Colorado protects him over Varlamov, who is pricier, older, and typical streaky Russian goalie. Just find an odd-man-out type of guy after the music stops (there will be one, similar to coaching surplus, glut of goalies this offseason looking for work–Ryan Miller?) and put a young guy with him. Joonas Korpisalo or Petr Mrazek/Jared Coreau.
‘Lack is a has-been with one decent season in Vancouver, a style that is already dated and injury history.’
Style is a good point. The goalies will be working with Goaltender Coach Dave Prior. A lot of the larger NHL goalies–as well as many of the Europeans–prefer to play a deep crease game: they are not nearly as aggressive on their angles as many of their North American counterparts.
From what I gather, Prior prefers the latter. Frederick Anderson struggled with a style change after being traded to Toronto. Babcock prefers his goalies to be aggressive on their angles. Anderson played a deep crease game in Anaheim.
I think I know why this article didn’t gain any traction. It’s hard to get excited about Eddie Lack. The Carolina Hurricanes are crying out for a starting goalie and Lack can’t win the job. It’s a sorry state of affairs when you can’t beat out Cam Ward. With that being said, Devan Dubnyk’s career was almost written off and look at him now.