Eddie Lack begins his chase of an NHL job as a No. 3 goalie on the Canucks prospects team.

In fact Lack won’t be seeing any action in the tournament this week and will be watching a lot of Joacim Eriksson the Swedish goalie the Canucks signed in June to be his competition.

Lack said at 25-years-old he was too old to play in this tournament for prospects. But Canucks assistant general manager Lorne Henning said the goalie won’t play because he still hasn’t been medically cleared after hip labrum surgery in January.

The team expects Lack will be ready for main training camp after seven gruelling months of rehab. But even if he is and he plays this preseason it will be nine months between games played.

Eriksson on the other hand is expected to be in heavy rotation this week which may give him an advantage as the two players tumble toward their inevitable battle to spend a lot of time on the bench backing up Roberto Luongo.

Instead of playing games Lack will be counting on his work this summer in Vancouver and Chicago.

“I was only able to go home to (Sweden) for a week and a half this summer” Lack said. “I feel like I made sacrifices not being able to see my family. But it really helped me.”

Lack was hurt in November but didn’t go to Colorado for his hip procedure until January.

For skaters the recovery time is usually four to five months. It can be a lot longer for goalies who put so much more pressure on their hips going in and out of the butterfly.

And that leads to a pressing question: Why did they wait so long to pull the trigger on Lack’s surgery?

“They wanted to try all possibilities before surgery” Lack said. “There was an idea I could push through the season and get the surgery after it.

“That wasn’t possible. We just had to get it done.”