After 11 seasons in the NHL and over 300 games on his resume, Chris Mason is headed to Italy.
That was the word out of Ritten on Tuesday, as the team announced it had signed Mason for the 2013-14 season.
Mason, 37, spent last year in Nashville but struggled as the backup to Pekka Rinne, appearing in 11 games while posting a ghastly 1-7-1 record with an 3.73 GAA and .873 save percentage.
That said, he’s not too far removed from his best days in the NHL.
The Alberta native won 57 games for St. Louis from 2008-10, helping the Blues to a surprise playoff appearance in 2009 (where he posted a .916 save percentage and 2.34 GAA in a first-round loss to Vancouver.)
Following his time with the Blues, Mason bounced from Atlanta to Winnipeg before landing back in Nashville, the club he broke in with during the 1998-99 season.
This will be the second noteworthy European excursion of his career. Mason previously played with Valerenga of the Norwegian league during the 2004-05 lockout, capturing league MVP honors.
Of note, he won’t be the only ex-NHL goalie playing in Italy’s Serie A next year as Andrew Raycroft is currently playing with Hockey Milano Rossoblu.
Last night in Los Angeles, Kings forward Milan Lucic received a match penalty after skating the entire width of the ice to give San Jose’s Logan Couture a two-hand shove to the face.
Lucic didn’t hurt Couture, who had caught Lucic with an open-ice hit that Lucic didn’t like. Couture’s smiling, mocking face was good evidence that the Sharks’ forward was going to be OK.
This morning, Lucic was still in disbelief that he was penalized so harshly.
“I didn’t cross any line,” Lucic said, per Rich Hammond of the O.C. Register. “Believe me, if my intentions were to hurt him, I would have hurt him.”
While Lucic knew he deserved a penalty, he said after the game that he didn’t “know why it was called a match penalty.” His coach, Darryl Sutter, agreed, calling it “a borderline even roughing penalty.”
And though former NHL referee Kerry Fraser believes a match penalty was indeed warranted, Lucic said this morning that he hasn’t heard from the NHL about any possible supplemental discipline.
Nor for that matter has Dustin Brown, after his high hit on Couture in the first period.
In conclusion, it’s good to have hockey back.
Related: Sutter says Kings weren’t ‘interested’ in checking the Sharks
A statement from Raffi Torres:
“I accept the 41-game suspension handed down to me by the NHL’s Department of Player Safety. I worked extremely hard over the last two years following reconstructive knee surgery to resume my NHL career, and this is the last thing I wanted to happen. I am disappointed I have put myself in a position to be suspended again. I sincerely apologize to Jakob for the hit that led to this suspension, and I’m extremely thankful that he wasn’t seriously injured as a result of the play. I also want to apologize to my Sharks teammates and the organization.”
A statement from San Jose GM Doug Wilson:
“The Sharks organization fully supports the NHL’s supplementary discipline decision regarding Raffi. While we do not believe there was any malicious intent, this type of hit is unacceptable and has no place in our game. There is a difference between playing hard and crossing the line and there is no doubt, in this instance, Raffi crossed that line. We’re very thankful that Jakob was not seriously injured as a result of this play.”
Silfverberg says he expects to play Saturday when the Ducks open their regular season Saturday in San Jose.