It’s been a season to forget for Winnipeg Jets goalie Steve Mason. Mason has suffered two concussions in 2017-18, one in November and one in January, missing a combined 28 games. Now he’s back on the shelf, after playing his first game since early January on Tuesday night, a shutout win against the New York Rangers. In the contest, Mason suffered a lower-body injury which, according to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti, turned out to be a seriously tweaked knee.
In speaking with head coach Paul Maurice, Gulitti reports that Mason underwent surgery today and is expected to be out 2-3 weeks. Michael Hutchinson, who was recalled from the AHL on Thursday while Mason’s condition was still up in the air, will remain in Winnipeg to back up Connor Hellebuyck.
Hellebuyck has not just helped to make up for the loss of Mason most of the year, but has thrived in his absence. Although Mason signed a two-year, $8.2MM with the Jets this past summer to presumably start in Winnipeg, that seems unlikely to ever happen given Hellebuyck’s emergence. The 24-year-old has blossomed into one of the top goalies in the league this season, posting a .923 save percentage and 2.38 GAA through 56 games already. Mason’s injury woes have certainly affected him – when healthy he has still struggled, posting a .906 save percentage and 3.18 GAA – but both his absence and poor performance have been non-factors for Winnipeg despite what many would have expected prior to the season.