I’m sure that most people will read the title and ask themselves ” Is gary2 crazy? Why would he include Steve Mason in next years players and in the same phrase as “We Want the Cup”. Well, I can give you 3,200,000 reasons is called, money. all $3,200,000 of his next years salary. Steve is damaged goods. That hurts, but is a fact. It is obvious that most of his problems are mental. He can play one game, or 75% of it in fantastic mode and then fall apart. But suddenly we also hear rumors that his physical conditioning and his practice habits are not the best either. But after 2 years of inconsistent performance, you’d think that issue would have been handled.
Now, it is very true that the Blue Jackets have been known to hang him out to dry. In fact sometimes I wonder if that is his mental problem also, just knowing the defense is going to break down and leave him high and dry. He went bad again this year when the CBJ were falling all over themselves trying to figgure out “who was on first“. And that was early in the year.
As an interesting point, here is a quote from Bluejacket extra, from A Portzline, “
Goaltender Mathieu Corbeil, the Jackets’ second fourth-round pick (No. 102), has compiled a 50-11-2 record the past two seasons with Saint John of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, not including a 16-0-1 record during this year’s playoffs. The Sea Dogs are gunning for a second straight Memorial Cup beginning this weekend.
Corbeil has a .912 save percentage and 2.29 goals-against average since joining Saint John midway through last season.
“We’ll evaluate him in the Memorial Cup and make a decision,” Howson said. “Not sure right now.”
The question is whether Corbeil is the beneficiary of a Saint John club, coached by former Blue Jackets coach Gerard Gallant, that can safely be called a powerhouse. With his previous club — the Halifax Mooseheads — Corbeil was 18-65-4 in parts of three seasons, with an .877 save percentage and a 3.92 goals-against average.” So the question is — If the club in front of the goalie makes that much difference, why are we bashing Steve Mason?
There has been a lot of talk about a Rick Nash/Steve Mason bundle to bring the Jackets a goaltender and something. That will not happen. The reason: $7,500,000 + $3,200,000 = $10.7 Million. No team is going to give that much money for 2 players and include damaged goods. That’s like $10.7 M for Rick Nash and a ? mark.
All in all, I doubt that any team wants to take a risk of $3.2M on a ?. There are several scenarios revolving around waivers. Sending him to Springfield if he would clear, paying half his salary if another team picks him up, and of course the buyout. [which I can't see happening]
My best bet, and hope, is that we get another goaltender and a good one that has a short contract [like Tim Thomas], use Mason as backup, and develop our defense. Use the year to ease Mason into a physical and mental state that he can play like he used to.Remember he is still very young, and although many feel he needs to leave Columbus to re-invent himself, anything is possible. If he does not come around, his contract is up next year and he is gone. If it was Tim Thomas, he too would be gone as he has a year remaining on his contract, and at his age, probably not resigned and the Jackets could be left with a huge hole at goaltender. but then again we have a different year’s free agency and another year’s development of York and perhaps M Dekanich would be proven as a #1 goaltender.