Try not to read between the lines

May 4, 2007

I saw on CBS Sportsline today that the Blue Jackets signed goaltender Steve Mason to a three-year entry level contract.  The 19-year old netminder was selected in the second round of last year’s entry draft, and recently was named the OHL’s goaltender of the year.

While he had a heck of a year, I hope the Jackets management (whomever this may turn out to be) will let him season in the AHL before throwing him in the shark tank.  The article brings up the goaltending struggles of the big club, but I’d be more worried if the words were coming from a Jackets spokesperson instead of an AP wire report.  I need to stop looking at this so deep.

And in other news…

As seen in yesterday’s Dispatch, defenseman Duvie Westcott has finally received a clean bill of health and was cleared for takeoff this week.  Playing in only 23 games this past season, Westcott was out for much of the second half with post-concussion symptoms.  Duvie says he hopes to schedule regular workouts during the offseason to prepare for training camp.  Unless major changes are in place with personnel, I would assume that Westcott will compete for the 4-6 defenseman spot.  A year ago I said that Duvie could be the best D-man on the team in a few years, but I think that the injuries he’s suffered have set him back considerably.  I still believe he has that potential, but he will have to remain healthy to have a shot.

Stay tuned for the Spotlight Series starting up in the next week or two (or whenever… it’s the offseason!).  Thanks for stopping by the End of the Bench, come back soon.


One comment

  1. This was Mason’s first year as a starter in the OHL, and I believe he still has at least one more year of junior eligibility, so he’s likely at least a season away from Syracuse.

    And although they’ve been a bit hasty rushing some position players into the bigs, I don’t think the Jackets have rushed things in goal. Pascal stayed in the QMJHL for a season after he was drafted, and then spent three years playing in Syracuse with just a brief audition in Columbus. Granted, the lockout was in there, so he may have come up a year earlier had that not intervened. And he did assume the starter role a little more quickly than expected, but that’s because his play really made Denis a tradeable asset.

    Now if only his health could match his play…

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