directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Mason gets a star and more!

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mason gets a star and more!

Its kind of fitting lately that the Jackets primary logo features a star as accolades are falling like stars all over this Jackets squad.

First Derick Brassard was named rookie of the fellow rookie Steve Mason has been named 2nd star of the week by the NHL.

Mason, 20, posted a 3-0-0 record with a 2.61 goals-against average and .907 save percentage in the first three starts of his NHL career. Recalled from the Blue Jackets' AHL affiliate in Syracuse Nov. 4, Mason made his League debut the following night and made 22 saves in a 5-4 victory over Edmonton. He stopped 34 shots and both shootout attempts in a 4-3 victory over Montreal Nov. 7 and picked up his third win in four nights when he made 22 saves in a 3-1 win over Calgary Nov. 8. Columbus' second pick, 69th overall, in the 2006 Entry Draft, Mason underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Sept. 23 and missed a month before making his professional debut with Syracuse Oct. 29.

One thing I want to ask about Mason is what's up with the headgear change? He wore that cool new helmet with featuring cannons against Edmonton but went back to his old one the following two games. Perhaps it just needs some breaking in.

At any rate he can't go back to the new with this win streak.

Thanks to a reader who pointed out this article by The Sporting News concerning the Jackets recent success with rookies stealing the show - I like this part:

Hitchcock has tried hard to limit the minutes for Voracek and Brassard so they don't get burned out early, or become more susceptible to injury. But even though they're playing less, they're contributing more. And their youthful exuberance and playfulness is supplying the Blue Jackets with more smiles per hour.

Late in the week, a Canadian television network added the Calgary-Columbus game to its schedule. It was a rare acknowledgment that hockey is even played in remote outposts like Ohio. It was also a hint that perhaps the Blue Jackets are gaining in respect.

"Being from Canada, you really don't get a lot of Blue Jacket news," said Mason, a native of Oakville, Ontario. "So for us to play a couple of games (on Canadian TV), it's definitely good for the organization. For us to win all three at home ... the organization doesn't have a reputation of being a strong team, but I think we've changed that this year. And hopefully it continues."

Rumor monger Bruce Garrioch has this to say about the Jackets yesterday:

The Blue Jackets are trying to shake things up. While they sometimes look like a team that's had just about enough of coach Ken Hitchcock's act, Hitchcock isn't going anywhere. That means players like D Christian Backman, C Jiri Novotny and G Frederik Norrena are being shopped around. Oddly enough, GM Scott Howson is finding lukewarm interest at best ...

I assume his "oddly enough" comment is a sarcastic one as after all we are talking about depth players here and ain't nobody going to touch Backman's 3.1 million contract unless we are taking a similarly brutal contract back.

You have to think Howson is keeping the lines of communication open, especially for offensive help on backend, but unless things start to really fall apart or something falls into his lap I think he'll sit on things for a while longer.

In other words don't expect names like Spezza, Sundin or Bouwmeester to be Jackets anytime soon.

For the record, Garrioch is about as reliable as Eklund.



Wally said...

When does Backman's contract expire?

I'm getting tired of saying "Backman" when someone makes a horrid defensive play & my wife asks "Who was that?"

LTL said...

Luckily he's a UFA after this season.

The way Tyutin's been playing lately its making stomaching that salary dump for a season tolerable but if Howson could find a taker -- he should be gone faster than you can say Cam Severson!


xoggz22 said...

I was reviewing the list of Right shooting d-men and that's a short list in the NHL right now.

I would target:

Bieksa - unfortunately the Canucks best right now

Gervais - Isle's d-man that could be had ????

Van Ryn - Trade deadline deal with TO? could use him sooner...

Crap....can't recall the last one I had on my list of possibilities. not that they would run the PP but we need a RH shot from the point

Erik said...


In all honesty I don't think anybody wants to take Backman for that amount. Let's be honest, he's a decent defenseman who has a lot of potential.... especially his skating and puck handling skills are technically sound.. BUT the turnovers, poor decision making and soft physical play make him hardly desirable. If Howsen can sell this guy on potential (which he has in bunches), Howsen should get the salesman of the year award.. the reality is that a lot of teams are close to the cap, and nobody is going to take a 3rd line D-man for 3.4 Mill..... I think we will be stuck with the guy until he walks next year... my gut tells me he will get signed in the east for about 1 or 1.5 mill. ( I think Howsen was willing to take the salary dump, just because it was 1 year and he really wanted Tyutin..)

I would like to start a Spezza conversation.... here's a top line center... loads of talent... very expensive... 7M for 7 years I believe. (not sure on that) ... on a struggling Senators team that is looking to shake things up... It appears all their top players have Do Not Trade clauses.. .except for Spezza.. His doesn't kick in until next season.. I keep reading that Sens fans are convinced that he's on the block... the Sens' pro scout has been in CBJ for every home game... is there a deal in the works ??? (let the rumors swirl)..

Personally I can't see it happen... we are starting to create chemistry and Spezza would be a great addition but at what cost ?? what do you guys think ??

roadman said...

While Spezza would be a very nice addition, I'm afraid the price would be so steep as to preclude other moves and opportunities that might come along later (PP triggerman). And Backman could be sat down if it gets too bad. Hey maybe that would get his attention and turn things in the right direction. Maybe a change of scenery is what Klesla needs, seems a shame but that might be the best alll the way around. Depending on how the Cuse guys develop.

Thanks for your posts!

puckeye said...

Backman, Novotny and Norrena for Spezza makes so much sense on all levels for both teams...

for the life of me, I can not understand how this deal is not done yet

honestly, how Garrioch has a job is one of the wonders of the world

Sean said...

Puck-rakers insists today that the Jackets aren't interested in Spezza, so then why have they had a scout at so many games? Who are they after and who are we interested in? The guys on the HF forums are right about this: we don't need to trade or sign a #1 center because we have that with Brassard. The question is when he plays on that line. We could still use a puck-moving defenseman and/or another defenseman with a right-handed shot.

Say what you want about Novotny, he plays solid hockey when he has to come out of the press-box like Saturday night when Huselius took warm-ups and then decided against playing. Does Novotny mind sitting around waiting for the phone to ring?

furthermore, I don't think a move is going to happen until Klesla and LeClaire get off their injuries. In the mean time, we get Nash back on track, spend a good chunk of time getting our PK fixed and play consistent 5 on 5 hockey.

xoggz22 said...

I think the Senators scouts could be evaluating Columbus because one thing the Sens have historically lacked is toughness on the back line. OKT and OKT could be nice trading pieces for them and I'm still interested in a guy named Vermette. He's had a tough start it sounds like but he's still a CBJ/Hitch type player with speed and skill. Novotny, OKT and a pick? Gets them some toughness, faceoff wins and a pick (3rd?)

I have to think Howson would rather have Russell up a playing over Backman. Maybe Backman goes in the deal too. He's a 1 year guy for any team which does offer some future flexibility.

I don't think Spezza is coming this way especially considering what we appear to have in Brassard, Voracek, Mayorov, Filatov and Nash. One or two of them would have to go and considering Nash is the only one making serious coin it would be smart to move those assets right now.

Now how about starting a Sundin rumor....there's a 1st line C I could live with for a year.

Anonymous said...

On the and there weekly report you can see Mason's new helmet he wore for the last two games. I like this one better then the other one.