ST. LOUIS -- Blues goalie Chris Mason is considering a move to bullfighting, sources close to the player indicated Thursday morning.
"It's been a lifelong passion of his, don't you know," Christy Mathewson, a close friend of Mason's, said when reached at home. "For as long as I've known Chris, he's done nothing but dodged out of the way of stuff. I guess you could say he was just born to dodge."
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one team official said of the young netminder, "Chris just has so much passion for dodging pretty much anything, that I just can't believe he hasn't pursued his dream of being a matador more seriously. When you have a talent, and a love, like Chris does, I just think you've got to grab hold of that dream and don't let go."
Mason himself is more reserved in his estimation of the situation, but he, too, admits there is some truth to the rumors.
"Well, you know, I mean, I've been a goalie pretty much as long as I can remember, but I'm just not sure it's me," he said when questioned by reporters after the team's 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday night. "Hey, hockey's great and all, but man, I just don't know. Dodging things running at me, or flying at me at high speeds, that's just, I mean, that's what dreams are made of, you know? They keep trying to get me to just stand there, and let all these pucks and stuff hit me, but if you can dodge 'em, why would you want to let stuff hit you?
"I mean, if you've got the moves, why not flaunt 'em? Plus, have you seen the uniforms those guys wear? Now that's classy."
In the meantime, the Blues have been holding open tryouts to find a suitable replacement in case Mason does, in fact, leave the team for a life on the Iberian Peninsula. The coaches were particularly excited about an old mattress they found in the alley behind the ScottTrade center, saying it showed "excellent instincts," and "really knew how to hang in there against the tough shots."
Best of all, they say, the mattress lacks a five hole, thus limiting the number of soft goals it would give up.