Mason Raymond is known for his struggles to stay on his feet. It is his burden. But on Thursday, in a grand cosmic irony, we learned that the Canuck winger was having a hard time staying off his feet.
It’s for this reason that Raymond has become the fourth Canuck to say nuts to this noise and head overseas, signing a month-long deal with Örebro of Sweden’s HockeyAllsvenskan, the nation’s second-tier league.
(Again, that’s Örebro. Not to be confused with ouroboros, the snake that eats its own tail, or Cerebro, the mutant location device built by Professor Xavier and Magneto. Also, Örebro is not, as some have suggested, Oregon for bros.)
Here’s Örebro’s statement and some speculation on where he’ll fit on the team, via Jason Botchford of the Province:
“In Mason, we get a global player to the squad. One of the NHL’s best skaters and a forward of a very high class. We have received good testimonials from Jared Aulin who knows Mason both as a person and hockey player, which we think is extremely positive.”
Raymond is expected to play on a line with Aulin, a 30-year-old who has become one of the stars of the league. Aulin was drafted in the second round by the Colorado Avalanche in 2000, but his North American pro career was unhinged because of injuries. He sits third in scoring with 32 points in 31 games in a league which started the season with six locked-out NHLers, including Anze Kopitar. Since then, several others have been signed, including Raymond and Bobby Ryan.
Orebro’s website also gives us this charming sentence, made all the more charming through the comedy stylings of Google Translate:
Mason borrowed from the Vancouver Canucks, where he played with among other things the brothers Sedin.
Quality name-drop on the Sedins, Örebro, especially since How I Met Your Mother teaches that mentioning Mason Raymond is the opposite of name-dropping.
Raymond should fit in well in HockeyAllsvenskan, which is a league known for its speed. And no doubt his decision was influenced by a desire to shake off the rust before playing his first NHL game, unlike last season.
I know what some of you smartasses are thinking: okay, but what does Örebro get out of it? (Seriously, we all need to be nicer to Raymond.) Here’s another charming section of Örebro’s writeup on the Raymond signing:
Mason will bring to the team excellence and fill the gap after long-term damage that we have on Patrick Yetman.
Did you hear that, you guys? Mason will bring to the team “excellence”, as he often does!
Yetman is Örebro’s top-line right winger, and his injury is believed to be fairly long-term. Raymond is a good short-term solution, then, especially with all that excellence.
Unless there’s a paperwork error and Aaron Volpatti somehow winds up getting the start instead, Mason “Excellence” Raymond will play his first game in Sweden on January 3.