Mike Smith has been a smashing success for the Calgary Flames, but the other part of their complete goalie makeover hadn’t really worked out. So, with that, Eddie Lack gets another chance to resurrect his career, this time landing with the New Jersey Devils.
The Devils sent depth defenseman Dalton Prout to Calgary to complete the trade.
To be fair to Lack, he didn’t get a ton of chances to get things together in Calgary. To be fair to the Flames, you could understand if they viewed giving too many starts to Lack as essentially throwing away games.
Take a look at how his four appearances played out in Calgary:
Oct. 13: Allowed one goal on six shots on goal in 12:02 of time against the Senators.
Oct. 25: Took a loss, allowed four goals on 28 SOG in a full game against the Blues.
Nov. 13: Allowed two goals on 15 SOG, once again vs. the Blues, in two periods of work. This was his only win with the Flames.
Nov. 15: Gave up five goals on 15 SOG against the Red Wings, barely making it into the second period. His final appearance with Calgary.
Overall, Lack went 1-2-0 with hideous individual stats: a 5.29 GAA(!) and a terrible .813 save percentage.
With Cory Schneider as the workhorse in New Jersey, and considering his struggles, it’s no surprise that Lack is at least initially headed to the AHL. It will be interesting to see if he can turn his career around. The last few seasons don’t inspire a ton of confidence, but it’s not as though he received a lot of opportunities to get it together, either. (Lack also generated a .916 save percentage in five games with the AHL’s Stockton Heat this season.)
There are at least some who wonder if some of his issues stem from coaching in Carolina, so maybe he can piece his game back together? We’ve seen goalies go off the rails only to rebound before, with examples such as Devan Dubnyk, Braden Holtby (remember the year Adam Oates’ staff messed with his style?), and Steve Mason coming to mind.
The Devils would probably be happy to see him merely return to the strong backup form he showed briefly with the Vancouver Canucks. The clock is ticking – he’s already 29 – but considering his NHL-friendly size and small sample of success, a renaissance isn’t totally out of the question.
If nothing else, we might get a few more taco jokes out of the deal.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.