Leading up to the lockout-shortened season, we will be providing 2012-13 previews for each player. In no specific order, we continue with Chris Mason today…
Before the move to Winnipeg, Mason’s 2010-11 season in Atlanta was a rough one. His 3.39 GAA and .892 save percentage were career-worsts in a full season. But as a Winnipeg Jet, Mason thrived as Ondrej Pavelec’s backup. Mason was limited to 20 games (lowest total since the 2004-05 lockout) and posted an 8-7-1 record with a 2.59 GAA and .898 save percentage. With that being said, he regressed as the season went on.
In July, Mason opted to sign a one-year, $1.5 million contract to join the Predators for his third stint with the franchise.
Mason pondered a lockout trip to Europe, but it was never serious. He instead stayed in Nashville and got re-settled in the city with his family.
To me the most intriguing thing for the first 10-20 games is seeing how the players who didn’t play overseas during the lockout fare physically, particularly goaltenders. Mason was a regular participant in the drills at A-Game Sportsplex, but he is also 37 years old and nearing the end of his career.
Pekka Rinne hasn’t played in the KHL since Dec. 9 when he reportedly suffered a groin injury. Because of that, I would expect Mason to get more playing time than usual at the season’s onset – and that could be a concern if he has to shake off a lot of rust. In a compact schedule, the Predators will be relying on Mason to be near the top of his game on the nights he is called upon.