Should Columbus stick with Steve Mason?

By Michael Arace’s count, there were 27 scouts in attendance for the game between the Columbus Blue Jackets and Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night. Twenty-seven.

It might be the best external evidence that Columbus GM Scott Howson may not sit quietly while his team starts slowly. This is arguably the most crucial season in the history of the franchise — at the very least, it’s the most crucial of Howson’s tenure. So far, it’s not going well.

Wednesday’s shootout loss dropped the Blue Jackets to 0-3-1. A win by the Nashville Predators or Detroit Red Wings tonight would put Columbus five points back of first place in the division, and they’ve played more than anybody in the Central. Opposing teams are starting to circle.

45 Responses to Should Columbus stick with Steve Mason?

  1. mojo19 says:

    1 out of a possible 8 points is a nightmare start for the Jackets. And I would agree, this is the most important season in franchise history yet. They have been d i cking around in the bottom of the West since inception, made one brief playoff appearance (and were swept), and now load up on offense by dealing a high 1st rounder and Voracek for Carter, spend huge $ on Wisniewski, and sign veteran Vinny Prospal. This type of start is unnacceptable.

    Ya maybe they should move on from Mason. He could get a new start somewhere else and be a good goalie, but I would probably flip him for another goalie in a trade.

    Other guys I would look to move would be:

    Huselius – currently hurt. On a contract year.
    Derrick Brassard – makes $3.2 million, hasn't really hit his stride yet. Now 24 yrs old his career high is 47 points.
    Sami Pahlsson – final year of his contract.

    Also, I would look to add another solid d-man into the mix.

  2. reinjosh says:

    Mason just hasn't cut and that is unacceptable. He's just losing confidence. 

    Brassard is the most likely to get moved. Huselias is more of a deadline move type guy. Brassard still has value. He was drafted high, he's shown a propensity to make plays, and he is still young. Some team would take a shot at him.
    Brassard for Turris might make sense. Phoenix would need to add but it would swap two struggling players and the two teams have an established trade history. 
    A Mikael Backlund for Brassard swap might work too but I think the Blue Jackets would want someone more established (as Backlund doesn't have the type of pedigree Turris has). Maybe Jokinen? 
    He might fit on Nashville. It could a Sergei Kostitsyn type reclamation project. Not sure who Columbus would want from Nashville. 
    Brassard would look nice beside  Grabner. Sniper with a dedicated playmaker?
  3. mojo19 says:

    Could Jokinen and Hagman for Brassard and Huselius make sense? Huselius played his best hockey for the Flames, and Hagman is looking strong to start this year. Both Hagman and Huselius are on expiring contracts, and the Jackets add a more veteran center with Jokinen. No upside, and they move a young guy, but its looking more and more likely that Brassard won't become much more than he is if he stays in CBJ. At least with Jokinen you know what to expect.

  4. mapleleafsfan says:

    Eklund had some crap about leafs asking about Schenn again… Now obviously the schenn stuff has been brutal but I was just wondering how expendable do you guys think he is… 

    With giroux being an absolute beast and clear number 1 and coutourier actually playing on the team where does schenn fit in? Does schenn just spend the year in the minors? Or if they manage to move hartnell do you think he moves over to the wing? 
    Just seems like a waste for "the best player not in the nhl" to be playing in the minors. I didn't see any of his preseason stuff but with all the friggen hype about him the best player not in the nhl should really be in the nhl, no?
    That said if philly was open to trading him I don't know what they'd be looking for. They're pretty deep in every position. Maybe younger dman? Not like they're gonna trade schenn to solidify their fourth line or something. 
  5. mojo19 says:

    Tyutin is good, Methot is okay, Wiz is good. After that it gets thin in a hurry on the Jackets blueline.

    What about this trade?

    Brassard, Pahlsson, Mason
    Bozak, Gunnarsson, Gustavsson

    Leafs perspective:
    I think Sami Pahlsson would fit in with our bottom 6 fwd's perfectly, with his defensive prowess. Mason can regain confidence in a backup role, if not, its not a huge loss of the Monster, at least its a sustainable loss. And Brassard for Bozak were getting a guy who can use a change of scenary with a bit more upside. The loss of Gunnarsson can be filled from within since we're deep on the blueline which is what makes the whole trade possible.

    Jackets perspective:
    The catalyst of this trade is obtaining Gunnarsson, this is key. He would fit in well, they also roll the dice on a different goalie in the Monster who, although appearing to be better suited as a solid back up, they can't do much worse than Mason with the way he's playing now, and Monster could give them some more stability and make them more competitive. That goalie swap would be a calculated risk on the part of CBJ. By grabbing Gunner and flipping goalies they also swap out Brassard for Bozak which is not an immediate upgrade or downgrade. Pahlsson's loss would have be filled with players like Ryan Johansson who will step in and play a bigger role.

  6. alpalstewart says:

    I wish this site had a writer for atleast every canadian team, lots of news in alberta bout the oil and the flames, but nothing is ever posted on here bout it. lots of talk about the nucks too but nothing on here. 

  7. alpalstewart says:

    the west gets no respect from the writers

  8. alpalstewart says:

    they should rename this site leafs trade rumors lol

  9. reinjosh says:

    That's a running joke on here lol. Just post flame's news then. I don't post it because you guys don't come around often. 

  10. reinjosh says:

    Yeah I think it could. Three of them are expiring and Brassard would be a fit in the future for Calgary. I'd do it. 

    At the very least it would be the start of a shift in Calgary. The hopeful rebuild. 
  11. alpalstewart says:

    i'm very active on here. and i'm an Oilers fan(from Edm.) so i can post stuff cus i go thru all the hockey sites everyday. but about those flames i think that bourque would be a good fit in toronto's top 6, and lets face it the Flames need some high end prospects.

    to cgy  bozak,frattin and gardiner
    to tor   bourque and Jackman
  12. alpalstewart says:

    umberger is another guy that might come cheap. no more than a 2nd or 3rd and a prospect for him maybe. the blue jackets look dreadfull and might be looking to move him out.  huselius and brassards names have already been thrown around so they are looking to deal. but if i'm toronto i want umberger over those 2

  13. reinjosh says:

    Well post the Oilers stuff. And I'm not sure I'd give up Gardiner for Bourque but the price would be about what the Flames are asking for. 

    I'd want Umberger too but they just signed him to a long term contract. He's seen as a leader and the heart of the team. I'd love him but I think he stays with them. He's to big to them. They move Brassard/Huselias/a lower end dman but thy need to get something to help them get into the playoffs. 
  14. MystifoLeafs says:

    Columbus should talk to LA about Quick or Bernier. That solves your goaltending problems.

  15. Leafs_Wallace says:

    Hockey Break claims that Burke made an offer for Turris…. wonder if that was pre or post the Seckel deal? 

  16. mapleleafsfan says:

    Must have been pre I imagine… Can't see where he would fit now unless burke thinks hes a top line center… HockeyBreaks also saying brassard to the east will probably happen next week.. Wonder who in the east is interested.

  17. 93killer93 says:

    i was actually about to post the same trade.  I think if it happens Kadri has to play in the minors, this season.  

    When Connolly returns things could get interesting.
  18. 93killer93 says:


    Morrow, Schenn, Glennie, Olesksiak
    D'Amigo, Frattin, Holzer, Gunnarsson, 2nd(Tor), 2nd(Dal), 3rd(Dal)
    Hartnell, Lupul, Bozak, Mikus, 1st(2012)
  19. alpalstewart says:

    schnieder is another goalie that might be available. 

  20. alpalstewart says:

    heck i'd just give them khabibulin for a bag of pucks. lol

    cant wait till his contract is up.
  21. alpalstewart says:

    I know what your saying bout Umberger but desperate times calls for desperate measures. i do still believe Nash is the heart of the team, and carter will be his center so it kinda makes ole R.J outa the loop. either that or they move in another direction rather than Nash. now think about what toronto would offer up for rick nash. 

    kadri,franson and gustavson for nash and a prospect seems about right

  22. 93killer93 says:


    Bozak, Lupul, Gunnarsson, Komisarek, Colborne, D'Amigo, Holzer, Gustavsson, 2nd
    Nash, Pahlsson, Mason
    Toronto would have to give up some salary
    Would be huge for toronto
  23. Boston_Bruins says:

    I often wonder why I keep posting here as I'm one of the like 3 people that isn't a Leafs fan lol. But this site has some pretty knowledgeable people on it and it's good to get some perspective outside of the Bruins forums.

  24. reinjosh says:

    So far Phaneuf is still all over the place, in a good way. He's playing defense but jumping into the play and making good plays. 

    Lupul and Kessel have some nice chemistry. Lupul gives Kessel a player he knows and can trust passing too. This is only going to be a good thing for Kessel. That goal by him? Oh baby that was sweet. 
  25. reinjosh says:

    Don't leave. It's nice having non leaf fans haha. And I always like hearing stuff about the Bruins. They've become a team I follow simply because of HTR. Not that I like them…but I follow them more haha. 

  26. reinjosh says:

    Interesting draft idea that Bob Nicholson is proposing. Not sure if its going to develop players any different (how does moving the draft age change development of a player? It doesn't).

    Basically the idea would be to move the draft back to 19 years of age instead of 18, but the top 5 picks or the first round (that's more likely) could still be 18 year olds. That would prevent guys like RNH, Hall, Seguin, Yakupov and such from being stuck in the minor leagues. 
    Moving it back would probably push the later rounds to be more important but the idea of giving the players an extra year to prove stuff doesn't really make a huge difference. 
    Major junior hockey and the NCAA would definitely fight hard to get this to happen. It would give them more time with draft picks. 
  27. reinjosh says:

    Frattin's gotta buy a goal soon. 

  28. alpalstewart says:

    i did think about throwing salary into the trade but not sure they would take komi.

    and that trade you suggested is ludacris lol
     11 player deals are not gonna happen and i do believe that any deal for nash would involve kadri,franson or gardiner
  29. mapleleafsfan says:

    RNH with a hat trick through 2 against vancouver… He's not taking his time.

  30. leafy says:

    Agreed Josh, Phaneuf has been really sharp. His decision making on the pinch has been excellent.

    Kessel has been outstanding. As you know, I wasn't a fan of that trade when we gave up 2 first picks, but I have always been a Kessel fan and have always said he's a great player. despite what one other lying piece of shit on this HTR site says.

    I still say we need another high impact forward despite the 3-0 start.

  31. LeafsFTW17 says:

    hahaha that would make me eligable!  You can be drafted 1 year after eligability right?
    But that would actually be a good idea, giving the slower developed players a chance at being draft like Bozak for an example.

  32. LeafsFTW17 says:

    needs to improve his 13% on faceoffs though..

  33. mapleleafsfan says:


  34. reinjosh says:

    Yeah his pinches were really well executed tonight. 

    And I know haha. Even when we disagreed on the trade, I knew you didn't think he was a scrub. 
    Probably, but maybe that impact forward is Connolly. I know, I know, not a popular view.
  35. alpalstewart says:

    theres no doubt his strength isnt gonna be as good as the men he plays against so it will reflect his faceoff %.

    but wow that was an exciting game to watch, taylor hall was incredible with eberle and RNH tonight, that line stays together for a few games now i bet.
    hat trick tonight was awesome for Rnh, isnt he supposed to be a playmaker compared to the likes of adam oates, , 3gp. 4 goals 0 assists lol
  36. leafy says:

    Do everyone a favor and leave this HTR site you piece of shit.

  37. reinjosh says:

    BTW, your better off just ignoring him lol. Your just playing into his hands by responding. The rest of understand logic and how a player can be criticized and still liked. 

  38. reinjosh says:

    He might not actually get the hat trick eh? Its still actually under league review apparently. The thought a goal might have been touched by Hall last, so it goes to him instead. 

  39. mojo19 says:

    leafy who are u talking to there?

    Unless there was some other comment that has since been deleted, I can't imagine you're talking to one of these guys…
  40. leafy says:

    Mojo I'm talking to that piece of crap Wallace. He knows why.

  41. mojo19 says:

    ha, i read it on the other page after I wrote this….

  42. JoelLeafs says:

    I think we are a pretty heterogeneous group (team wise) but our ratio of intelligent posters to trolling idiots is pretty good (surprising considering LTR, and all). But really, I'm just hear for Kramer. Still haven't figured out who he is yet.

  43. DavidFoster_Leafs says:

    This Kessel kid is pretty great, it goes to show how much potential this club can have giving productive firepower up front.  My concern moving forward is how long can Kessel be expected to play at this level?  But great to see the Leafs playing with confidence.

     Looking at the schedule, they're are a bunch of soft teams coming up, outside of Philly and Boston we should win five of their next seven.

  44. supermapleleafs says:

    add kadri and maybe a high draft pick into the deal and have nash coming the other way that deal would be sweet…… a pipe dream but still freakin sweet

  45. reinjosh says:

    Honestly, I think a lot longer than people are going to think or give him credit for. Many people are fond of saying he disappears in spurts but its not exactly true. He constantly creates chances and he is shooting constantly (4th most shots last season behind only Ovie, Carter and Byfuglien). The issue has always been that he hasn't had the linemates that allow him to capitalize on chances or create better ones, so he's been forced to create all his chances by himself. He actually did a pretty effective job doing it considering he's put up three straight 30 goal seasons. 

    Lupul should help him a lot with consistency. Not only does he have someone to pass too that can actually shoot and has top 6 offensive instincts, but Connolly (or Bozak I suppose, he's been solid) should be able to get him the puck in situations he wouldn't have had since he was playing with Savard. 
    Kessel is taking the next step this year. 

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