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Blues have decision to make with Chris Mason

Apr 12, 2010, 8:00 AM EDT

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The St. Louis Blues have a tough decision to make this summer when it
comes to the goaltending position, but in Chris Mason’s eyes he’s
earned the right to keep his spot as the starting goaltender.

From
Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

“I
don’t think I had a point where I bottomed out, or stayed in a slump
for a long time,” said Mason, who will turn 34 on April 20. “Other than
December, which was my toughest month, I think I was pretty consistent
all year.”

“Statistically, I’m almost exactly the same as I was
last year,” Mason
said. “I think the fact that last year was my biggest workload, and I
exceeded that this year, that proved that I can definitely do it more
than just one year, which is what (the Blues) wanted to see.”

The
Blues and Mason entered into brief contract talks during the season,
but the team decided to wait until this summer to go further into in any
future contract considerations.

Ty Conklin is under contract for
next season, but he’s yet to take on a full load this summer. His
overall numbers weren’t bad this season, but he wasn’t exactly a winning
machine. He shouldered a significant load last year with the Red Wings,
so he’s proven he can at least be more than an “every now-and-then”
goaltender. He’s also skilled at helping to get teams to the Stanley Cup
finals; winning them….not so much.

That being said, quality goaltending is hard to find. Mason is 33
years old, which plays against him, and is was paid $3 million last
season. He’ll likely want more per year, and he’s yet to prove himself a
viable goaltender for the playoffs.

With goalies like Marty
Turco hitting the open market this summer, expect the Blues to bide
their time to see just what Mason thinks he’s worth.

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