Photo Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

FlamesNation former player evaluations: Freddie Hamilton and Eddie Lack

Freddie Hamilton and Eddie Lack, we hardly knew ye.

In addition to his role as Dougie Hamilton’s older brother, F. Hamilton often served as the Flames’ 13th forward, a frequent healthy scratch who could play at a replacement level when called upon.

Lack, meanwhile, was intended to be the Flames’ backup goaltender. He quickly proved things weren’t going to work out, but in fairness, he didn’t get much of a chance, either.

Let’s get one thing straight: Hamilton has some value, just not much of it. He doesn’t totally sink his team’s performance when he’s on the ice, nor does he provide much benefit, either. He’s just kind of… there, as he was for the Flames this past season, drawing into eight games: twice in October (before Mark Jankowski was called up), in four of a five-game stretch in late November (replacing Curtis Lazar for three of those games), and twice in December (one more Lazar replacement).

All numbers are with the Flames only.

Games played Goals Assists Points TOI/GP 5v5 CF% 5v5 CF% rel OZS% PDO
8 0 1 1 7:38 41.51 -8.86 36.84 .933

Hamilton was asked to play pretty much exclusively a low minutes defensive role: something anyone is going to have a tough time doing. His most common linemate was Troy Brouwer, whose performance with Hamilton didn’t really vary; Hamilton away from Brouwer, however, plummeted. He didn’t thrive, and he wasn’t irreplaceable, so when the time came – specifically, on Jan. 3 – the Flames waived him.

The Coyotes picked him up the next day. He played eight games for them, frequently sitting as a healthy scratch, though he got to average roughly three additional minutes per game. He did not score any points for them. Also, it’s not exactly like the Coyotes are a good team themselves; that Hamilton could barely crack their lineup seems to be an indication that he may be done in the NHL.

The good news for him? He last played in the AHL in 2015-16, scoring 43 points in 62 games for the Stockton Heat. That’s a level he can clearly play at – and perhaps a reminder that just because someone has good AHL numbers doesn’t mean they’ll translate to the NHL, especially if they’re a veteran.

Nov 13, 2017; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames goalie Eddie Lack (31) reacts after goal by St. Louis Blues right wing Vladimir Tarasenko (not pictured) during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 7-4. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

The Flames traded Keegan Kanzig and a sixth round pick for Lack, the promptly bought out Ryan Murphy, and a seventh round pick. The logic behind the deal was sound: they needed an experienced backup goalie (nobody was ready to hand any keys to Jon Gillies or David Rittich in October 2017, nor should they have been), and Lack had proven in the past that he could put up good numbers.

There were two full seasons of separation by that point, however, and with the Flames, he failed to show much of anything – though he also really didn’t get the chance.

All numbers are with the Flames only.

Games played Save percentage ES save percentage PK save percentage
4 .813 .877 .583

His first game came five games into the season, when Mike Smith was lit up by the Senators. Down 5-0 with 12:02 left in the contest, the Flames brought Lack in. He gave up one goal on six shots, but the game was pretty much over by that point. The Flames had a game the very next day – their first back-to-back of the year – but Smith needed redemption, so he played (and won).

Lack’s first start came 10 games into the season, the second of a back-to-back. He did not play particularly well, surrendering four goals on 28 shots in a 5-2 loss.

Lack’s third game came 17 games into the season, when Mike Smith suffered a mysterious injury between periods, forcing Lack to fill the net for the second and third frames. He gave up two goals on 15 shots, surrendering goals in the third period after the Flames had taken the lead, but holding on well enough in the end to secure the 7-4 win.

Lack’s fourth game of the season came 18 games in, when Smith was injured and he was the de facto starter. They were in Detroit. He gave up five goals on 15 shots before finally getting the hook 24:27 into the game, forcing an unfortunate Gillies to come in just so somebody would be in net for a game that was already over. Lack was never seen in a Flames jersey again, as he was waived Nov. 23. The team later engaged in a minor league swap with the Devils for Dalton Prout on Dec. 30.

Lack played three and a half games for the Devils. He posted a .903 save percentage: certainly not great, and in line with his Carolina numbers, but definitely better than what he had in Calgary.

Basically, the Flames didn’t really ever trust Lack to play for them. When he was in net, he validated their suspicions.

  • freethe flames

    Personally I believe if FHamilton had cleared waivers he would have helped the Heat make the playoffs. Despite having two good young centers graduating from the CHL this season the Flames organization lacks depth at the center ice position. They could IMO add some tweeners to help this organization.

    As for Lack it was a mistake; the idea of a veteran back up was not a bad idea but the guy they got was. There has been a lot of talk about the need to add a veteran back up this year by the FN community. Listening to BP the other day it sounded like he was okay with letting Rittich and Gilles battle it out and seemed not to worried about the need for a veteran backup; boy I hope he right.

    • Kevin R

      Shook my head on the Lack deal myself. Not opposed to making a play for Grubaer but priority should be a top6 Centre to pair with Tkachuk that can win face offs. Perhaps if Freddie Hamilton cant get a contract we can offer him an AHL deal & kinda make Dougie happy haha.

      • freethe flames

        I agree with you and preferably a RHS. I am prepared to try and see if Janko and Tkachuk have any chemistry in the preseason. Freddie will likely sign a 2 way deal somewhere and even if it is here but he has to clearly earn a spot in the top 14 no more nepotism.

        As for Grubaer or any of the other 2/3 guys who might be an option I don’t get the sense theat BP or BT are willing to use any assets to get them. If and say a big if they look for a back up it will either be a FA or one of Gilles Rittich moved in a trade; I just can’t see adding another goalie to the log jam of maybes’.

        • freethe flames

          Who would center them? Or are you suggesting Bennett as the center? At the start of tkachuk’s rookie season they played together with the boat anchor.

  • freethe flames

    A rumour out of Dallas; found on Spectors report is that Nickushkin (probably spelled wrong) is returning to the Stars this season. Does that open up the possibility that Dallas might look to move forward? If so is there anyone that really makes sense for the Flames?

    • BendingCorners

      Nichushkin will fit on Dallas’ 3rd line. They have open spots and cap space so I don’t think they will be looking to move anybody the Flames would want, just worn out guys like Spezza.

    • RealMcHockeyReturns

      Wish they would say “Ah darn, we need a smooths-skating defenceman, and one of those Flames D prospect, plus Bennett” and you get….RADULOV. Flames REALLY missed the boat on him before.

  • JoelOttosJock

    The Flames should really target Phil the Thrill Kessel! Package Brodie and Fox maybe? Also try to get the Pens to retain anywhere from 750,000 to 1.5 million. I would also like to see the buyout of Brouwer and make a legitimate stab at JVR. Giving the Flames a formidable top 9.

    Gaudreau Monahan Kessel
    Tkchuck Bennett JVR
    Ferland Backlund Frolik

    • Snitch

      I think the big problem with JVR is the length of the deal he’ll want. He’s also going to command close to $6.5 mil too. If we were to spend that kind of money, we should go all in and pay JT the big bucks!

      Then if you could sore Kessel in a deal like you mention, we’d be going places.

    • BendingCorners

      Kessel is a great scorer but he will be 31 in October. Unless he is a fitness freak the decline will begin sooner rather than later. I would want compensation for that risk in any deal.
      JVR would be an interesting pickup, especially if he can play his off wing. I would still prefer a pair of RHS forwards but wouldn’t be upset with JVR. What would he expect for salary? 5×5?

    • freethe flames

      If you are going to trade these assets I would prefer to go after a guy like Zibby in NYR and a draft pick than Kessel, way less money for the same term. Yes less production but something tells me Kessel will soon be hitting the cliff. As far as JVR like many here say the sticking point is he will want term as well as a pay raise over his $4.25m and that kind of contract has Brouwer/Lucic stink written all over it after a year or two. Same with the Kessel deal; so IMO no thanks; the long term impact is more scary than the short term positives(which there would be).

  • Trevy

    I would stay away from Kessel and JVR for that matter. I don’t think either falls into the wheel house of what the Flames want to achieve, which is a fast, relentless team. Plus these guys are at that stage where they’re not going to get better. As someone mentioned, Kessel will be 31 and JVR will be 29 and looking to get paid. The only big free agent fish I would attempt a shot at would be Tavares, otherwise a trade would be the better route. I personally like Zucker, although he plays LW. He’s young (26), improving every year (he had 33 goals last year), he’s fast, tenacious and the Wild are in a bit of a cap crunch along with a new GM that wants to make his mark. Not sure what the cost would be, but worth looking into. Nino Neiderreiter would be another..

    • freethe flames

      The only thing wrong with both these guys is they are both LHS and while one (me) should not get stuck on the RH/LH shot issue our lack of same IMO hurts our forward group.

      • Trevy

        True, but scouring the NHL, there aren’t many potential available right shot wingers that would fit into a top six role. Most are already young stars that their respective teams would never trade. You might be able to swing an Oshie or Simmonds, but again, getting up there in age

        • BendingCorners

          If Minnesota is looking to move somebody, maybe Coyle? He is big and skilled, a lot like Ferland I think, and a RHS. They might not want to move him but any time a team talks up a player in the off season I hear “he’s great, please take him” underneath the surface.

        • freethe flames

          None of know for sure who is or is not available. I am sure the management staff have vetted out who they would like and what they would be prepared to part with. They are probably already doing the leg work and all it might take is for one deal to take place. The two big deals that are out there is IMO whether or not Taveras goes to FA and the other one is whether or not Ottawa move Karlsson. I look at a team like the Rangers and while they have said they are moving in a different direction and it looks like a rebuild I really wonder if that is what they will do. I could see them using the draft picks to try and acquire Karlsson. I could see the Habs thinking the same thing.

  • everton fc

    Two players I think the Flames should look into, if the deal is right;

    1. Phil Kessel
    2. Antoine Roussel

    I had other wings in mind, but don’t have the time to formulate a comment, as I’m just checking in.