When Eddie Lack was invited to play for Team Sweden at the upcoming Ice Hockey World Championship in Minsk, Belarus, he was understandably excited. He called it a “dream come true” on Twitter, which makes sense. Just four years ago, Lack was a backup in the Swedish Elite League (behind his new backup, Jacob Markstrom) and putting on the blue and yellow to represent his country must have seemed like an unreachable fantasy.
Regrettably, it turned nightmarish just a week later when he had to pull out of the tournament due to injury. What injury, you ask? That’s the thing: we don’t know.
Lack and the Canucks curiously played coy when asked about the nature of the injury, possibly because they’re used to hiding injury details in April. Could it be related to the hip surgery that cost him most of the 2012-13 season? Is it a muscle strain suffered during his 19 straight starts after the Olympic break? Did he lose an arm in a freak dodgeball accident?
Maybe! WE HAVE NO POSSIBLE WAY OF KNOWING!
But it’s far more likely that it’s a minor finger injury that just needs time to rehab before he starts training in the off-season. At least, that’s what can be inferred from this video of Lack enjoying submissions to Boston Pizza’s Design-a-Mask contest.
While enjoying Lack’s adorable praise for the artwork submitted by young Canucks fans, you might have missed it: he has a bandage on his right ring finger. It might be nothing or it might be the injury keeping him from joining Team Sweden.
Since the contest closed on March 30th, this video was shot sometime in April, likely a little ways in as they had to have time to choose the winner and have the winning design turned into a real goalie mask. It wasn’t, however, shot after the season ended, because Lack is wearing his goalie gear. Thus, it was likely shot after a practice or a morning skate sometime in mid-April.
That jibes with what little we do know about Lack’s injury. In an interview with a Swedish news outlet, Lack said that he had been playing with the injury already and still could have played in the World Championship tournament. A injured finger, properly bandaged, is fairly safe to play with as a goaltender, particularly on the blocker hand, so it’s absolutely the type of injury he could play through at the end of the season.
This is, admittedly, idle speculation, but it does all add up.
What’s clear is that the potential to aggravate the injury, whether the finger in the video or some other injury, is what made the Canucks ask Lack to stay in Vancouver. Laurence Gilman said that Lack just needs “general maintenance,” so it’s likely a minor issue that just needs time to heal, though Lack suggested in the aforementioned interview that if he didn’t let it rest and tried to play for Team Sweden, it could have resulted in surgery.Tags: Eddie Lack, rampant speculation