WINNIPEG -- The Winnipeg Jets received a rare piece of positive news on the injury front on Friday morning.
The Jets activated goaltender Chris Mason from Injured Reserve after the veteran backup missed seven games with a groin injury. Mason exited the Jets' 9-8 win at Philadelphia on Oct. 27 after playing 8:27 in relief of starter Ondrej Pavelec. Mason is 1-2-0 in four games this season with a 2.68 goals-against average.
To make room for Mason, the Jets reassigned goaltender Peter Mannino to the St. John's IceCaps of the American League. Mannino logged third-period mop-up duty in Thursday night's 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers.
"I'm excited to come off [Injured Reserve]," Mason said before the team departed for Saturday night's visit to Columbus. "It [stinks] being injured. I'm pretty happy to be back. You just want to be with the guys."
Mason also indicated that he is "100 percent" ready for game action. The demands of the position mean that groin injuries can sometimes linger for goaltenders, but Mason needed just two weeks to heal.
"I went full-bore here in the last three days here," Mason said of why he feels ready for game play. "I like to think that I heal quickly. The trainers here put me on an excellent regimen, so I feel great. There are no reservations at all."
Meanwhile, right wing Eric Fehr's surgically repaired right shoulder continues its long recovery. Fehr is testing the shoulder in practice, and Friday's contact-filled session provided it with a good workout. Fehr, acquired from the Washington Capitals in a July trade, has yet to play this season.
"It feels pretty good," Fehr said of his shoulder. "It's a little bit stronger than I expected, actually, just to be able to push guys and get body position."
While his teammates may not have relished the demanding practice, Fehr saw the session as a positive.
"That was a great practice for me to jump into," Fehr said. "We wanted to be physical in practice, we wanted to moving our feet and working hard. That's the kind of practice that, selfishly, I need to get back into the line-up."
Fehr plans to consult with the team's medical staff and see how his shoulder is progressing, but he could not provide a definitive timetable for his return.
Along with Fehr, the Jets own a long list of injured players on the blue line. Ron Hainsey has missed 12 games with an upper-body injury, Tobias Enstrom is out indefinitely with a broken collarbone, and Randy Jones and Derek Meech remain out as well.
You forget how good [Nieuwendyk] was. You hear the points and stuff and you almost forget until they kind of walk you through his career, and that was really cool for me. I might have felt it a little more than some of the other guys because he was one of my favorites growing up, but that was very cool and I'm honored to have been a part of it. I had chills the entire ceremony.