Tag: Curtis Sanford

Shawn Hunwick

Columbus signs Michigan goalie Shawn Hunwick, will back up against Detroit


The fun in goal for the Columbus Blue Jackets just jumped another level.

Starting goalie Steve Mason was injured this morning thanks to taking a shot off his head in practice and with the Blue Jackets only having backup goalie Allen York at their disposal, they were in desperate need of a goalie for tonight’s game against Detroit. The Columbus Dispatch’s Shawn Mitchell reports that the Blue Jackets have their answer in the form of University of Michigan goalie Shawn Hunwick.

Hunwick was signed to an amateur tryout deal and will back up York for tonight’s game. Depending on Mason’s health, it could turn into a full-fledged contract for the 5’7″ 166-pound goaltender.

Going from college to the pros immediately is something we’ve seen this year with St. Louis’ Jaden Schwartz and soon with Minnesota’s Jason Zucker, but playing goal is an entirely different monster.

As it is, York is the fourth-string goalie for the Blue Jackets, but thanks to injuries to Mark Dekanich and Curtis Sanford he was rushed to the show. Now Hunwick arrives as their fifth option. If you were wondering why the Jackets are the NHL’s worst team, it’s a mix of bad injury luck and bad management.

Looks like Curtis Sanford’s season is over

Curtis Sanford

Columbus goalie Curtis Sanford has done yeoman work in holding down the fort while Steve Mason struggled with poor play and injury and supposed-to-be backup Mark Dekanich missed the season with his own injuries. It’s only fitting that Sanford’s season comes to an end on injuries of his own.

Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards announced that Sanford will miss the rest of the year with a leg injury. Rookie Allen York will take his spot as the team’s backup the rest of the year. While Mason has bounced back in a big way late in the season thanks to wearing pads that fit right, Sanford had a solid year trying to hold things together. Not bad for a guy that was supposed to be the first call-up option from the AHL.

The job Sanford did in Columbus this year after getting over shoulder surgery last season was also enough to earn him the team’s Masterton Trophy nomination. At least he’s got that going for him.

Blues extend their Western Conference lead

Jaroslav Halak

The St. Louis Blues opened up a five-point lead over the Vancouver Canucks in the battle for the first seed in the Western Conference with a 2-1 victory versus Columbus on Sunday. Jaroslav Halak saved 33 shots en route to winning his eighth straight start.

St. Louis’ goaltenders have been dominant since Ken Hitchcock took over as head coach. However, they’ve been exceptional this month even by the high standard that they’ve set. In six March games, neither of the Blues’ netminders have allowed more than one goal in a single game. On March 1, Vancouver beat St. Louis 2-0, but the Canucks’ Chris Higgins scored on an empty net.

Curtis Sanford got roughed up by the Blues in his start against them on Saturday in the first half of this home-and-home series. He fared better in Sunday’s outing, but Sanford is still searching for his first win since Feb. 7.

Patrik Berglund and David Perron each scored a goal for the Blues. Andy McDonald registered an assist to extend his point streak to five games. On Columbus’ side, Mark Letestu is now on a four-game point streak after netting the squad’s only goal.

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St. Louis’ work is far from done if they want to end up with the top record in the Western Conference, but it’s fair to say that the first seed is there’s to lose. Meanwhile, with another loss, the Blue Jackets will have a tough time just getting out of the NHL’s basement.

Gauging goalie trade targets for the Maple Leafs

James Reimer, Darryl Boyce, Matthew Lombardi

The Toronto Maple Leafs are currently in the eighth spot in the East, but they’re floundering a bit. Aside from a mini-run here and there, you can attribute Toronto’s successes almost solely to its explosive offense.

Even in some of the lower moments of the season, GM Brian Burke has been quick to support his goalies – at least publicly – although that seemed to change on Wednesday. The Globe & Mail’s James Mirtle reports that Burke admitted he might test the market for some goaltending help.

Although Mirtle spent much of his story discussing younger netminders such as Ben Bishop, Jonathan Bernier and Cory Schneider, Burke indicated that he’s more interested in a quick-fix. That implies that the Maple Leafs are leaning toward a veteran rental who would cost less in a trade than “goalie of the future” types.

With that in mind, here’s a rundown of some of the most interesting targets who fit Burke’s specifications.

source: Getty ImagesEvgeni Nabokov – Yes, the New York Islanders have indicated that they want to re-sign Nabby, but would that really be the best move for a team whose short-term future is cloudy? It might be best to strike while the iron is hot with a goalie who isn’t getting any younger.

Nabby might not be tailor-made for the Toronto pressure cooker, but he’s playing great hockey and could provide the just-good-enough work to make them an interesting dark horse candidate. (Ron Wilson’s also familiar with him from their time together in San Jose.)

Tomas Vokoun – OK, I know this is a bit surprising, but if the Capitals clean house he’s a logical first choice. Vokoun is an experienced goalie with an expiring contract and plenty to prove. He’s the best option Washington has in net on most nights right now yet his reception keeps getting more sour. That sinking relationship could make for quite the bargain, especially considering Vokoun’s track record before this rocky season.

The point’s probably moot because the Buds and Caps might go head-to-head for one of the last playoff spots, but perhaps it shouldn’t be a moot point.

Antero Niittymaki/Curtis Sanford/Ty Conklin: The Maple Leafs could really reach in the bargain bin with one of these journeyman netminders. Sanford might fetch the highest ransom because he’s had more success season. Oh yeah, he also hasn’t been placed on waivers …


So what’s your take on Toronto’s net situation? Should they stay put, go cheap with a veteran or sell the farm for a Schneider-type backup? Do tell.

Blue Jackets place two defensemen on IR as fun continues

Nashville Predators v Columbus Blue Jackets

Say what you will about another miserable season in Columbus; it’s not as if the Blue Jackets have received a lot of lucky breaks.

They’ve faced injuries and suspensions left and right, including issues for big off-season acquisitions Jeff Carter and James Wisniewski. The misery keeps building, however, as the team announced that defensemen Marc Methot and Brett Lebda have been placed on the injured reserve.

Not enough of a beating for you? The Blue Jackets also revealed that Curtis Sanford is day-to-day with an upper-body injury, forcing an emergency recall of netminder Allen York.

Defenseman Dalton Prout also received the emergency recall treatment to try to patch up one of the spots that has opened up.

Methot has seven points and averaged 20:03 minutes per game in 46 contests while Lebda scored a goal and zero assists while logging 20:16 minutes per contest in five appearances in the NHL this season.