No More Unsung Hero
Mason Raymond ready to join 30-goal club
September 24 2010
Calling it a big year would be an understatement to describe last season for Mason Raymond. After a disappointing 23-point campaign in 08-09 that included a few trips to the press box, the Cochrane, Alberta-native silenced critics with the best argument possible: 25 goals and 53 points.
Benefiting from a permanent fix on the team's second line beside Ryan Kesler and Mikael Samuelsson, the 25-year old proved himself worthy of earning praise from fans and management alike. Finding more tenacity and drive to his game, the 185-pound Raymond no longer avoided battling the puck in the corners and was often a surprising presence on the forecheck. In addition to his obvious skating ability, by implementing a more physical element to his game, Raymond reaped the rewards of his hard work early and often in the season.
It was after all, a career year for Mason. Perhaps the most memorable highlight coming at the expense of his favorite childhood team; the Calgary Flames. Midway through the season, Raymond scored his first NHL hat-trick against Miikka Kiprusoff and the Flames on December 27 of 2009. It would be a sign of things to come as Raymond eventually finished the season with 8 powerplay goals including 4 game winners.
Mason Raymond enjoyed a 53-point season last year
His obvious success did not go unnoticed and Raymond was eventually rewarded the Fred J. Hume Award as the team's "Unsung Hero." And though the honor might have fit the persona of Mason Raymond a year or two ago, he's no longer qualified as unsung.
Even Team Canada acknowledged Mason's big year and added him to their lineup for the 2010 IIHF World Championship of Hockey in Germany. Though the team struggled and finished a distant seventh place, it cemented Raymond's legitimacy as a top-six forward in the NHL. Prior to this experience, the former Camrose Kodiak had never laced up for the Red and White-- though you can expect his name to be considered in future tournaments.
Indeed, calling it a big year would be an understatement for Mason Raymond. Not that he ever takes anything for granted and is understandingly overshadowed by some of the bigger stars on the hockey club. And perhaps his value to the team is recognized by the fact he is the recipient of the Fred J. Hume Award; a player that quietly but undeniably exceeds expectations.
And a man with a city behind him to prove he's no longer satisfied with unsung.