directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Bouchard story + Mason gets the start tonight

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Friday, September 21, 2007

Bouchard story + Mason gets the start tonight

The Dispatch has a nice read on Joel Bouchard (pictured left), the journeymen injury prone defensemen that is here on a PTO (Pro Try Out) is looking to carve himself out a spot on this team. This man has certainly seen his share of ups and downs:

Bouchard missed three days of camp and lost eight pounds last week after getting food poisoning from bad cottage cheese. The episode is emblematic of a career that has included 364 NHL games spanning 12 seasons.

Chances are you can open a medical dictionary to any page and find an affliction that has bedeviled Bouchard. Broken jaw. Torn hamstring. Torn knee ligament. Fractured shoulder. Hernia.

In 2002, doctors removed a golf-ball sized benign tumor from his neck. A year later, he contracted mercury poisoning after eating contaminated tuna.
The experience convinced him of two things: He needed to play harder and spend more time helping others.

"I talk a lot with kids who have cancer," said Bouchard, a bachelor with no children. "And I tell them, 'You have a gift -- you see life differently.' When you get through something like that, what else can scare you?"

Also, according to the Dispatch, Columbus 2006 3rd round draft choice Steve Mason will get his first start tonight between the pipes for the Jackets at Buffalo. This will be 6'3" 183 lbers' first career NHL start as the coaching staff has been very pleased with his camp.
Mason was a bit under the radar when the Jackets selected him in 2006 as he only made 12 starts that season as the backup for the OHL's London Nights. The little he did play obviously caught the Jackets scout's attentions as the following year he was not only the starter, he broke the OHL's win record by collecting 45 wins in 62 games. He also won two games for Canada this summer in the Candadian-Russian Super Series.

Mason (pictured right) likely won't stick in Columbus this season as the Jackets have two very capable guys in Fredrik Norrena and Pascal Leclaire but he is certainly the best goaltender the Jackets have in their system and should turn pro next season and make a push. I think he's at least two years away from making the Jackets as goaltenders take longer to develop but this kid is certainly a guy to keep an eye on in the system. Chances are he'll make the Canadian World Juniors team this season which is a fantastic development opportunity.

Read more Dispatch coverage here.

I'll have a game preview of the game tonight between the Jackets and Sabres later on.


No comments: