Will the Columbus Blue Jackets stick with Steve Mason as their starting goalie? Is Anton Stralman close to signing with the New Jersey Devils? Read on to find out!
ESPN.COM: Craig Custance wondered how long the Columbus Blue Jackets will stick with Steve Mason as their starting goaltender. GM Scott Howson has been patient with Mason, who has struggled to regain the form which saw him backstop the Jackets to their first playoff appearance in 2008-09, earning him the Calder trophy as NHL rookie of the year. Mason however has not looked sharp in the Blue Jackets first four games, leading Custance to suggest if Howson’s patience runs out, he should target Cory Schneider of the
LA Kings Vancouver Canucks, Al Montoya of the NY Islanders or Jonathan Bernier of the LA Kings.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: None of those teams are in any hurry to move those netminders. Given Roberto Luongo’s early struggles, the Canucks are going to hang onto Schneider. Montoya has been very strong between the pipes for the Isles so he’s not going anywhere, and the Kings aren’t likely to consider moving Bernier at this point in the season. If the Blue Jackets need a goalie, I suggest they contact the Islanders, not for Montoya, but for veteran Evgeni Nabokov, though given Rick DiPietro’s latest injury (possible concussion), he might not be available at this time.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports defenseman Anton Stralman remains unsigned by the Devils but continues to skate with the team in practice. Stralman said he’ll remain patient in hopes of signing a contract with the club but doesn’t intend to wait a full month, suggesting he could go to Sweden if no contract is forthcoming.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: I can’t help but wonder if other NHL clubs are watching this situation with Stralman and might perhaps send him an offer if the Devils decide not to ink him. Stralman could be a good addition for teams seeking offense from the point, especially on the power-play. Twenty-two of his 34 points in 2009-10 came with the man advantage.