The Winnipeg Jets’ hunt for stability in net has brought in former Calder Trophy-winner Steve Mason. Mason, the former Philadelphia Flyers’ starter, was thought to be in line for a backup job after a down season. However, TSN’s Bob McKenzie reports that Mason’s contract is for two years and $8.2MM; a $4.1MM AAV. Mason will thus be looked upon to take over the starter role and hold off young Connor Hellebuyck.
Mason, at 29, was coming off a disappointing season for the Flyers, finishing this year with a 2.66 GAA and a .908 save percentage. His career has been somewhat of a roller coaster, however, starting with his rookie season in 2008-09 when he came out of nowhere, posting a 2.29 GAA in 61 games and leading the Columbus Blue Jackets to their first-ever playoff series and winning the Calder Trophy. He then followed his impressive rookie campaign, tallying a 3.05 GAA in 58 games and a .901 save percentage and was never able keep his goals against under three until the Blue Jackets traded him to the Flyers in 2013. Mason regained his form, but never to the point of that initial season.
Mason’s new contract is exactly the same contract he has had over the past three years when he inked a 3-year, $12.3MM contract back in 2014 with the Flyers. However, in Winnipeg, he has a chance to take control of the starting gig there as Hellebuyck struggled as a full-time starter. The team still hopes the 24-year-old can become their everyday starter, but the general belief is they need a veteran to hold down the pipes for a couple of years until the youngster is ready.