Cops: Mason was target

STEVE MACFARLANE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 12:29 PM ET

Even more impressive than his league-leading 10th shutout of the season was the fact Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Steve Mason did it under the threat of death.

According to a Columbus police report, a man wearing a Calgary Flames jersey has been arrested and charged with inducing panic after placing at least three threatening phone calls to the Blue Jackets -- specifically targeting Mason -- during Thursday's 5-0 win over the Flames.

Charged with the misdemeanour, Peter Stenzel, 52, was picked up at his Dublin, Ohio, home.

"They got his number from caller ID, and it was given to special duty officers," Columbus police Sgt. Rich Weiner told the Columbus Dispatch Friday.

"When they got to his residence, he was upset. He's a passionate hockey fan."

Security was on edge at the Nationwide Arena, and there was a beefed-up police presence because of the phone calls that came in between 7:45 and 8:11 p.m., between the end of the first period and start of the second.

Special-duty officers were placed around all the arenas entrances.

Sources told the Dispatch Stenzel threatened to "shoot" and "bomb" Mason during the game.

Columbus police didn't confirm the details, but said the threats were not treated lightly.

"One phone call might not be taken seriously, it might not generate much of a response," Weiner said.

"But when you make two or three calls and is threatening bodily harm, we're going to take it very seriously.

Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson admitted there was something afoot during the game, but didn't want to comment further.

"There was an incident and it's been referred to NHL security," Howson said.

Mason was pulled from a post-game scrum, and there were rumours the netminder was sequestered between periods, but no one outside the team was aware of the threatening calls or the specifics of the way the Blue Jackets handled their star rookie during the game.


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