Reports out of Columbus, Ohio are that rookie goalie Steve Mason is set to return to the Blue Jackets for tomorrow’s big game against the Detroit Red Wings. Mason has been battling mononucleosis, while Dan LaCosta has been filling in admirably in his time up from Syracuse of the American Hockey League. The rookie stopped 59 of 61 shots in wins against San Jose and Colorado.
It won’t be enough to keep LaCosta from going back to Syracuse at some point, however. As for when, well, the Blue Jackets aren’t making things any easier on John Murray. Word out of New York is that the Reign netminder might remain with the Syracuse Crunch rather than fly back to California, because the Jackets are holding onto LaCosta until the last minute to make sure Mason is indeed healthy enough to play 60 minutes against Detroit tomorrow night. They might not assign LaCosta to Syracuse in time for their game tomorrow against the Grand Rapids Griffins (coincidentally, the Red Wings’ affiliate), in which case Murray stays in the AHL another day.
Still, the Reign opened the door for Murray to return by releasing emergency backup Dennis Cook today. Cook was going to be released regardless, since the ECHL emergency backup contract lasts only a maximum seven days and it had been a week since they signed him. The question is, who will be the backup goalie when the Reign travel to Bakersfield? Probably not Murray. Stay tuned.