FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Among the trade destination possibilities for Eddie Lack, the Carolina Hurricanes certainly didn't feature prominently as one of the teams rumored to be part of the goalie carousel.
But the Hurricanes surprised many Saturday morning by acquiring Lack from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for a third-round pick this year and a seventh-round pick next year.
So, what it means for the Hurricanes at this point is that Cam Ward and Lack share the net next season, and both goalies are unrestricted free agents a year from now. Perhaps the Hurricanes can sign Lack to a longer-term deal to be their guy. Ward has a no-trade clause and it’s not clear yet where he fits in long term in Carolina’s plans. But in a year, it’s a moot point if the Hurricanes want to move on.
As for the Ducks, it's interesting indeed now that the club has three goalies, Khudobin joining a crowded crease with Frederik Andersen and John Gibson. My sense is that Gibson starts the season in the AHL and gets to play a ton and eventually before next year’s trade deadline the Ducks deal either Andersen or Khudobin before bringing Gibson back up.
Unless, of course, the Ducks get an offer on Andersen or Khudobin this summer, too. The bottom line here is that Ducks GM Bob Murray cleverly has given himself some chips to play with, his team once again loaded in goal. Plus, he saved about $3.25 million in cap space by moving Wisniewski. I don’t think Anaheim is done dealing this summer, and it kept going on Saturday, trading for Carl Hagelin from the New York Rangers in exchange for Emerson Etem in a deal that also featured a few picks changing hands.
The Canucks, meanwhile, didn’t get a great return for Lack but that’s what the market dictated. Lack is one year away from UFA status. Robin Lehner, who went for a first-round pick to Buffalo on Friday, is four years removed from UFA status. Therein lies your difference.
Now, it might just be that a team like the Dallas Stars could have paid up a bit more for Lack, but I think Vancouver might have been reluctant to put Lack in its own division. The Stars, meanwhile, acquired the rights to pending UFA Antti Niemi for the 193rd pick.