Mason was a third-round pick in the 2006 NHL Draft (No. 69) of the Blue Jackets and spent his first five NHL seasons in Columbus. As a rookie in 2008-09 he backstopped the Blue Jackets to the franchise's only berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and won the Calder Trophy as the League's best rookie.
He never reached that level of play again, however. While his physical skills didn't diminish much, RJ Umberger, Mason's teammate and roommate for five years with the Blue Jackets, said the raised expectations began to affect the goaltender mentally.
"He almost hurt himself by having such a great rookie year," Umberger said. "He brought us into the playoffs [then] he struggled with trying to find his game in his own head. He had a lot of different tweaks, a lot of different people working with him. It became too much for him."