By Alex Gallagher
It all started as a regular game day for Eddie Läck in December 2018.
He was amid a tough season where the Swedish-born goalie bounced between playing for the New Jersey Devils of the NHL and the American Hockey League’s Binghamton Devils.
Läck went through his pregame rituals and took the ice for warmups, when he felt a pop in his hip.
“This was something that kept happening throughout my last year of playing and every time it happened, it kept getting worse,” Läck says.
Läck had surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left hip. Surgeons shaved his hip bone to ease the problem. Wondering if he’d ever play hockey again, Läck and his wife, Joana, considered where they wanted to settle down. The two knew they wanted to be somewhere that was not cold.
“We had always gone back to Sweden for the summer, and we wanted to live in a warm place,” Läck says. “We looked at Arizona, Florida and California. We thought this was a good middle ground in the sense that there was less traffic and no hurricanes.”
Arizona won. It should come as no surprise to fans that he wanted to live in a place that served great tacos.
“Everybody knows how much I love tacos,” he says with a laugh. “We settled here (Scottsdale) about three years ago and I bought my first house over FaceTime.”
Around this time, Läck was trying to recover from his injury and take another shot at pro hockey.
He volunteered to coach goalies for ASU’s Division I hockey team in August 2019, when he could evaluate his hips and ability to stop pucks.
Months later, Läck pivoted to a different profession to keep him busy — real estate.
“My family has been involved in real estate back home in Sweden and we own a few hotels back there,” he says. “Real estate was something I had invested in while I was playing pro and was something I had been interested in my whole life. I wanted to see if this could be a good career for me or not.”
Läck retired from pro hockey on March 30, 2020 — nearly a decade after signing his first contract with the Vancouver Canucks.
“I knew that with my network from hockey and, this being such a hotspot for people who retire from the game, I felt that this would be a good opportunity for me,” Läck says.
Läck scored his first sale thanks to his network. ASU men’s hockey head coach bought his home through Läck nearly two years ago.
“He had a lot of patience with me, and it was great,” Läck says.
Läck has also had to learn how to be patient himself.
“My grandpa who did most of the real estate for our family back in Sweden told me to have patience and everything is going to work out,” Läck says. “That was the best piece of advice I received.”
While Läck has been off to a hot start as part of his own agency, Läck and Long Luxury Real Estate — which is brokered by America One Luxury Real Estate — he credits his success to the booming market of home sales in Arizona.
“I was talking to my partner, and I told him, ‘I know we’re doing pretty good but we have to remind ourselves that the market is doing really well.’ I try not to get too carried away,” Läck says. “We’re trying to build for longevity even during colder markets.”
He tries to woo clients by sharing what he loves about Scottsdale, including golf, restaurants and the mountains.
“I love the atmosphere here,” Läck says. “I don’t feel that a lot of people are from here, so everyone had to go through that first phase of meeting people and people are understanding of that when new people move here.”
He also credits the fun activities the city has to offer as a major selling point.
However, when it comes to selling Scottsdale, Läck understands that some people may not buy with the intention of staying long term.
“We offer a one-stop shop for your real estate needs,” he says. “We help people find their long-term homes, but we also help people with long-term rentals, invest in flips and invest in Airbnbs.”
While some buyers intend to flip or rent out homes in the short term, Läck still estimates that 60% of his clientele is looking for a place in Scottsdale to call home.
However, he hit a brick wall with the low inventory in Scottsdale. He estimates there are less than 5,000 homes available in Scottsdale. Good inventory is around 25,000 homes.
“A few months ago, we were at a few weeks’ worth of inventory,” Läck says. “That meant if no new homes came available the inventory would be gone within weeks.”
As someone who broke into the top level of pro hockey as an undrafted free agent, Läck knows a thing or two about persistence.
“I feel like we’ve done extremely well considering the circumstances,” he says.
When Läck is not selling prospective home buyers on Scottsdale, he still coaches goalies at ASU.
“I feel like I have a few things that I learned along the way that I can share,” he says. “The only reason I do it is that it’s fun for me to stay with a team and be a part of that team environment.”
He also is excited to be a part of Sun Devils hockey’s bright future.
“With the program we have here, the coaches, the rink and the college behind us, why wouldn’t anyone want to come play here?” he says with a laugh.
Eddie J. Läck & Conner Long
6900 E. Camelback Road, Suite 860, Scottsdale