Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/03/10 at 11:27 AM ET
via Bob Hunter of the Columbus Dispatch,
Goaltender Steve Mason and forward Jake Voracek are entering the last year of their entry-level deals, which means that since July 1, the Blue Jackets have been able to sign them to extensions. But general manager Scott Howson isn’t talking about the matter.
It doesn’t matter. The Blue Jackets believe that Mason is going to be a franchise goaltender, so his sophomore slump works to the club’s advantage. If Mason had followed the 2008-09 season, when he won the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie, with another big year, he might have been looking at $6 million per season. Now, it’s probably half that.
The team’s personnel people think that Voracek will ultimately be a point-a-game guy, so they will try to lock him up long term before he becomes that. The question is whether Voracek will opt for a little more security or take a chance that a big year is coming up. The argument in favor of Voracek waiting is that he could end up on the first line with Rick Nash and Antoine Vermette, which could inflate his totals.
It’s easy to see why Howson wouldn’t want to discuss this in public.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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