The long strange road of the Blue Jackets' season adds another brick today with the news that goaltender Steve Mason took a shot off the mask at this morning's skate and will not be available to play this evening.
Allen York, already in Columbus thanks to the Curtis Sanford injury, will start tonight vs. Detroit, while the Jackets have signed former University of Michigan goaltender Shawn Hunwick to an amateur tryout deal. Hunwick, a Hobey Baker award finalist this season, posted a 24-11-3 record with a 1.98 GAA and .933 save percentage, leading the Wolverines to the NCAA tournament before being knocked out by Cornell in a first round shocker. You can follow the goaltender on twitter, while the netminder was briefly trending in Ann Arbor as his former teammates speculated on if his beater truck would survive the drive down US-23.
Hunwick's status is provisional, but from the talk over at Puck Rakers, I'd bet that if Mason is done for the year, Hunwick will be signed to a full NHL deal for at least this season, and one would assume next year as well. He's consider one of the best goaltenders to come out of the NCAA in the last few years, despite his small size, and could be a very interesting piece of the puzzle in Columbus, assuming he survives the next two weeks.
Good luck, boys. You're gonna need it...
In happier news, the team has also announced that they have come to terms with 2011 2nd round pick Boone Jenner, agreeing to a three year entry level deal. Should Jenner's Oshawa Generals be knocked out of the playoffs early (they currently trail the Niagara Ice Dogs 2-1, with game 4 tonight in Oshawa), he could potentially be assigned to Springfield or Columbus depending on how the team thinks he would best be used.