If the Winnipeg Jets
are going to find success this season, they will need to rely heavily on goaltending.
The tandem of Ondrej Pavelec
and Chris Mason
helped pilot the former Atlanta Thrashers to a hot start last season, and the Jets could need Pavelec to step into the League's echelon of elite goaltending.
"He definitely has superstar talent," Mason said of Pavelec. "He has a good demeanor, great mindset, and he is a great athlete in the net. When he on last year, he was one of the best in the League."
Pavelec turned 24 last month, and the 35-year-old Mason will balance mentoring the young goaltending while keeping himself ready to step into the crease at a moment's notice.
"We've got a great relationship," Mason said of his dealings with Pavelec. "I'll play when I'm told to play. That's what I intend to do."
Mason is familiar with the role, having broken into the League with the Nashville Predators
and their then-workhorse goaltender, Tomas Vokoun
. Mason eventually moved into starting roles with the Predators and St. Louis Blues
before coming to his current organization.
Last season in Atlanta, Pavelec logged 58 games, while Mason appeared in 33 contests.
"I started out my NHL career as a back-up," Mason said. "I've had the opportunity to play every role."