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Canucks goalie Lack has surgery; will it affect Roberto Luongo talks?

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com
Lack has yet to see regular-season time with the Canucks. (Getty Images)

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A potentially significant development in the Roberto Luongo trade sweepstakes occurred Tuesday, and it has nothing to do with Luongo himself.

Canucks goaltending prospect and the organization's No. 3 keeper, AHL Chicago's Eddie Lack, underwent hip surgery on Tuesday. It's expected to keep him out for six months, which certainly means the rest of this season is a wash.

"After consultation with our team physicians, it was deemed that Eddie Lack would require a procedure on his hip," said president and general manager Mike Gillis in a statement. "We expect Eddie to make a complete recovery and continue his professional career after a successful rehabilitation program."

Obviously this has bearing on anything that might or might not happen with Luongo. If the Canucks don't get a goaltender in return -- and it hasn't been part of their reported asking price -- then they would be in a really tough situation without a proven backup for Cory Schneider for the rest of this season. So it means one of two things: either the Canucks will change what they're seeking from other teams or they will stop thinking about trading him this season.

At this point, Luongo seems like he'd be OK with staying in Vancouver for the short year. He has played pretty well in his time this season while Schneider has had some struggles, so maybe he will start to claw back some of the playing time in the Vancouver nets.

As far as Lack goes, this doesn't mean the end by any stretch. Normally, you'd think hip surgery and goaltenders don't go together very well but Kevin Woodley of InGoal Magazine says many goalies come back better. Imagine Tommy John Surgery for a pitcher in baseball.

The 25-year-old Lack has spent the past two seasons with AHL Chicago. This season in 13 games he had a .899 save percentage and 3.00 GAA, hardly great, but last season in 46 games he had a .925 save percentage and 2.31 GAA.

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