Schneider…gone, Luongo…outta here, Lack…next up?
When it comes to quarterbacks and goaltenders, it’s rare when a season goes by that there isn’t some sort of dilemma, warranted or not.
Last year, the Vancouver Canucks parted ways with both their No. 1 netminders, Cory Schneider and Roberto Luongo. After a handful of years on the farm, grooming their goalie of the future, the team turned the job over to rookie Eddie Lack, who with minimal NHL experience, put up respectable numbers for a struggling franchise.
While many questioned management’s decision-making skills, the plan to build around the young stopper was put into place.
Enter the summer free-agency period, and immediately any plans for Lack to be the new face of the franchise went out the window. With the availability of 2010 silver medalist (who happened to lose to former Canuck Bobby Lu) and Vezina award recipient Ryan Miller, the new Canucks brass felt the need to anchor the lineup with a proven talent.
So where does that leave Eddie and what does it do for his confidence when the new regime feels the need to bring in a veteran talent rather than trust the second year pro? Quiet honestly, many, including yours truly, think that this is a great pickup by the Canucks. It takes pressure off of the youngster, especially in a city that has a tendency to direct and eat any sign of failure alive at any given chance.
And what of Jacob Markstrom? Brought in as part of the Luongo deal, the 24-year-old found action in only four games last season and had hopes of seeing at least 25-30 games this season.
Now, there is one thought floating around the chat rooms, water coolers and BC teachers picket lines that instead of planting Markstrom in Utica, the Canucks will work hard to highlight Lack as trade bait to help bring in some scoring help and use the former Florida Panther as Miller’s understudy. While Lack more than likely has better trade value than Markstrom, doing such a deal would certainly paint the Canucks front office in even a darker light than they currently sit in.
The unfortunate thing is that, despite all the time and anticipation since Lack signed on the dotted line in 2010, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to any Vancouver fan if they see LACK stitched across the back of one of the other 29 NHL teams’ uniforms.
Besides, it’s only a matter of time before Thatcher Demko arrives and gives us another reason to part with our No. 1 goaltender.
Whoever it may be.