Friday, June 20, 2008

Mason dealt to St. Louis

St. Louis Blues President John Davidson announced today the team has acquired goaltender Chris Mason from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a 4th round draft choice, 111th overall, in the 2008 Entry Draft.

“Acquiring Chris really solidifies our goaltending position which was one of our goals going into this weekend,” said Davidson. “We are looking forward to a big day today at the draft.”
>> team release
The most important detail here is that Dan Ellis has re-signed in Nashville, making him the starter heading into next season.

Moving Mason's $3-million cap hit for next season is a big bonus for a Predators team that didn't want to get stuck shelling out $6- or $7-million on netminders alone, and the team already has an up-and-coming youngster to fill the backup role in Pekka Rinne.

Another very good trade for David Poile.

The Blues, meanwhile, made no bones about wanting another goaltender heading into 2008-09, meaning youngsters Hannu Toivonen and Marek Schwarz aren't in the immediate plans. Mason didn't have a great year last season but will split time with Manny Legace, who at 35 probably shouldn't play more than 50 games anyway.

Legace had a pretty strong campaign for St. Louis last year.

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At 11:41 a.m., June 20, 2008, Blogger saskhab said...

It's also believed that Nashville may be the first team to pick a goalie in the draft with their second pick in the first round. Considering their first pick was acquired from Florida for Tomas Vokoun at the last draft, it could be a very goalie-centric day for the Preds.

At 11:45 a.m., June 20, 2008, Blogger Jeremy said...

Toivonen signed with Ilves Tampere of Finland, but the Blues made a qualifying offer to retain his rights. Schwarz has yet to put it together over an entire AHL season, so he looks to be in need of more developmental time.

Mason is kind of pricey for a de facto backup, but we'll probably see more of a platooning situation in St. Louis next year. Legace started off the season on fire but faded down the stretch (along with the rest of the team). Mason should be able to spell him more reliably than the flighty and unpredictable Toivonen.

At 12:07 p.m., June 20, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad news for Ottawa and Ray Emery.

At 12:25 p.m., June 20, 2008, Blogger The Forechecker said...

Chris Mason was a class act during a difficult time this year. I expect he'll do fine in support of Legace in St. Louis...

At 3:54 p.m., June 20, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hannu Toivonen is following Ari Ahonen and Mika Noronen's footsteps as failed first round Finnish goalie picks.

Finland produces good goalies but not all of them are Miikka Kiprusoff. In fact only Kipper, Toskala, Lehtonen and Backstrom are number one goalies in the NHL.

Scouts are always excited about something. It use to be Quebec goalies, then Czech goalies and now it's Finnish goalies but there's always your fichauds, pruseks and toivonens around.


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