Here's what the Jackets Required staff had to say....
To be honest, no. The kid has had a tough season filled with a lot of disappointments, although he has been playing stronger hockey lately. I think he needs the next two weeks to take care of himself both mentally and physically and finish this season strong so he has momentum and confidence going into next year. Mase will have plenty of opportunities in the future to rock the maple leaf on his sweater, but for now I want him as far away from the that pressure cooker as possible.
Stick on the Ice:
I have mixed emotions about this. Let me start by saying that I believe - and have continued to believe for the whole season - that Mason has tremendous potential. I fully believe that he has the raw skill requisite for the Olympics, but as we all know his issues this year have been mental. He's lacked confidence, focus and the necessary ability to bounce back from adversity.
Will the Olympics - or even the possibility of representing the team - provide him with a greater sense of confidence? Absolutely. Will the Olympics distract him from his focus on the Blue Jackets? Absolutely. So the question is will the pros outweigh the cons for Jackets fans? Hard to say...Personally, I think the Olympic camp he attended did nothing but shake his confidence and distract him from the start of the regular season with the Jackets. I do think that Olympic experience and the mentoring he'll undergo as part of that will ultimately make him a much better goaltender. However, this is a precarious time for the Jackets and frankly, my focus goes there first. He will have another shot in four years. Ideally, I'd like the Canadian team to keep Mason on speed dial, but I'd rather have him work with Rook and Noel for the next two weeks and leverage the emotions of not being on the Olympic team to motivate him for a really strong finish. Certainly, we saw something like that happen last year when he was slighted from the All-Star game and he finished in a dynamic way.
Sure, why not. Could the experience, even if he never even dressed for a game, be a bad thing?