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Flyers re-sign G Mason: One year, $1.5 million

Apr 8, 2013, 12:25 PM EDT

SteveMason

The Philadelphia Flyers confirmed rumors of a Steve Mason contract extension on Monday, signing the 24-year-old netminder to a one-year, $1.5 million deal.

Mason, acquired at the NHL’s trade deadline, appears to be held in high regard by Flyers brass. Almost immediately after joining the club, his agent told reporters the team planned to sign Mason to a new deal.

The former Columbus netminder and 2009 Calder winner made his Flyers debut on Saturday against the Jets in relief of Ilya Bryzgalov, who allowed four goals on 16 shots — with all the goals coming in a seven-minute span during the second period.

Mason stopped all nine shots faced in the third period, and said he felt good about his performance.

“I tried to make things simple out there and overall it was pretty good,” he told CSN Philly. “It’s something to build off of.

“Since the trade’s been down, I haven’t had a practice yet, so I’m looking forward to getting out there with the team and really starting to figure things out here.”

Philadelphia next plays on Tuesday against the Islanders in New York. No word yet on who’ll get the start.

  1. bobc74 - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    Cue the Benny Hill music

    • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      for signing a backup goalie? …ok dude

      • DonkeyStick - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:58 PM

        I think you missed his joke

      • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:00 PM

        i must have. clue me in?

  2. ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    put him in net then

  3. jpelle82 - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    9 saves gets you a years worth of confidence in philly i guess….good for mason and if he ends up number one then thats pretty cheap.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 8, 2013 at 3:07 PM

      Well they were already working on an extension before he played in Winnipeg. That performance probably didn’t have too much of an impact on negotiations. But I really like this signing. It’s a low-risk, high reward type deal. It’s a “prove something” contract. If Mason impresses in the final 10 games of this season and then does a solid job next season he will get a better contract. If he plays poorly then you wash your hands of him after next season. And to pay a goalie just $1.5 million really helps the Flyers cap situation. I’ve heard that there are some hockey ppl that believe getting Mason so cheap will potentially allow the Flyers to keep Bryz for another season. I don’t know if I believe that (and I hope that’s not the case), because they have pressing needs on the blueline that have to be filled this offseason. And getting rid of Briere will only put them a few million under the $64 mil cap ceiling (not including Prongers LTIR exception). To be able to afford a top-notch dman a big contract will have to be shipped out and Bryz ($5.67 mil) makes the most sense. No one will take Mez ($4 mil) or Coburn ($4.5) so the only real buyout candidates are Bryz, Briere, and maybe even Hartnell ($4.75). But I think they give Hartnell another shot to return to form after a disappointing season. If I had to bet I’d say the Flyers go into next season with Mason and another veteran goalie battling it out for the top job. The more starts Mason gets in these final 10 games the more likely it is Bryz is gone after this disappointing campaign.

      • ml3939 - Apr 8, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        I think Hartnell, Coburn and Mez all deserve the chance to redeem themselves. Mez was hurt and Hartnell and Coburn have rebounded from poor seasons in the past. I think this years poor seasons may have also been exacerbated by a lot of players having down years at the same time.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 8, 2013 at 4:44 PM

        I don’t disagree with anything you said. It really was a perfect storm of injuries and underachieving. And despite all the crap Coburn gets from most fans (someone had to take Carle’s place), I think he does a good job. Most Flyers fans would disagree with me but Idc. Aside from this season he’s been a steady performer on the backend. I also think Hartnell will bounce back to his usual 20+ goal production next year, I’m not worried about him. But Mezsaros does worry me. He used to be an ironman on the blueline, but once the injuries started they haven’t stopped. My concerns with him go beyond being injury-prone however. He used to hit everything but since he’s come back he played extremely tentatively, without decisiveness. It’s like he was scared to get hurt again, and that’s exactly how you re-injure yourself. And lo and behold, he did. Maybe he was never fully healthy but I didn’t see anything close to the old Mez. You can’t play scared in the NHL and that’s how he looked. Maybe he bounces back next season, but it’s the final year of his deal anyway so I’d say his days are numbered.

      • docvegas - Apr 8, 2013 at 6:16 PM

        i agree with you the sooner the better for bryzgalov

      • docvegas - Apr 8, 2013 at 6:19 PM

        the flyers missed the boat when they did not pick up michael ryder or even ryan clowe.

      • drone501 - Apr 8, 2013 at 10:00 PM

        as an outsider, i think the flyers have to go with mason and jettison bryz as fast a possible. theres been to mmuch goalie upheaval in philly the last few yrs. need a good 2 goalie system loke the pens have.

  4. jimw81 - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:39 PM

    Flyers lock up next year’s goaltender

  5. shortsxit34 - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:49 PM

    Hey Flyers,
    If you’re signing a bunch of goalies , especially horrible ones, I’m still available. Wait, that came out wrong…

    • desertfan - Apr 8, 2013 at 12:57 PM

      should be signed by kipper

  6. east96st - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:37 PM

    Here’s my take as a former Jackets season ticket holder – Philly has a chance to salvage the guy’s career. The Flyers needs to understand and work with 1) the kid is a head case. Even when things were going well, he wouldn’t show for public events, would go into a funk, etc. Someone within the Flyers organization needs to treat him with kid gloves. He’s mentally fragile 2) He has issues when the puck goes behind the net and with the high corners. He needs a strong position coach that he TRUSTS. 3) he’s not a hockey “genius” and didn’t have the best position coaching. It was a sports headline in Columbus that he didn’t know his pads were too small for his frame. That’s more on the Jackets side of screwing up, I blame the equipment manager, but it does show he does NOT know his position inside out. 4) Because he is a moody guy, there will be games where he’s all fired up and games where he’s a million miles away. You simply don’t know which guy will show up at the rink that night 5) Prior to this season, he’s had some really crappy defense men playing in front him and there was more than one night where the Jackets team took the night off and Mason got fed to the wolves. So, expect trust issues when it comes to his teammates. He’s been burned – badly – by guys in front of him.

    If the Flyers, and maybe just as important the Flyer fans, understand all that, you have a chance to resurrect the guy’s career and make him a respectable goalie. But if you put him out there to face 40 plus shots, he lets in seven, and the Flyer’s faithful and the media is screaming for his head, well, you might as well send him to the minors now. The guy had to eat a lot of s**t in Columbus. Some of it was deserved. But some of it was management trying to distract the fans from the fact that the team flat out quit, or even didn’t bother to show up. No goalie can do it all by himself. The other guys on the ice need to accept their share of the blame, as well. But had the Jackets put those failures on the TEAM, instead of on Mason, that would be admitting what we all knew – it was the most mismanaged franchise in sports. So, in an effort to save face, they fired coaches and blamed goalies.

    • flyboys12 - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:53 PM

      @eat96st,

      Well put. We haven’t always been the best market for goalies. And for those that live on a different planet, we have a headcase already. Then again, most goalies are headcases. Mason may have needed a change in scenery. As long as he puts in 100%, he will get it back from fans, but when you start ducking out of the way from a shot *cough cough*, you start raising eyebrows. I think the team as a whole needs some confidence in their goalie. Bryz has been so hot and cold, the team doesn’t trust him. Hopefully he gets the start tomorrow night and can show what he’s got in new, properly fitted pads.

    • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 1:57 PM

      are you sure you didn’t write that first paragraph about Bryzgalov?

      good insight though. appreciate it.

    • tightbutth0le - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:07 PM

      @east96st If what you say is true, then the kid will be eaten alive in Philly. No disrespect to the Columbus fanbase, but the media scrutiny in Philly is 1000X worse than it is in Columbus, because guys like Tim Panaccio have no clue what they are talking about. Last week, he wrote an article that featured him once again complaining about the Flyers not resigning Matt Carle (how’s that $5.5 mill working out for you, TB?) and continues to blame Bryzgalov for the lack of defensive talent (partly due to injury even if there wasnt much talent there anyway) or defensive system implemented by his golden boy Laviolette. Panaccio should take the time to write an article saying “Hey, Bruno Gervais and Kent Huskins are the 2nd D Pairing on the Flyer. Maybe its not ENTIRELY the goalies fault?” If Mason cant handle Columbus media, then Panaccio will ruin this kid.

      Most Philly fans are of the mindset that the Goalie should be able to cover all mistakes made by a team, but that’s just wishful thinking. Yes the great tenders seem to be able to bail a team out when they hang you out to dry, but to ask a goalie to do it 9-10 times a night is just ridiculous. But the strangest thing is that management believes it too. They threw $51 million at a guy who was very successful behind VERY good defensive cores and very good defensive systems in Phoenix and Anaheim, and expected him to be a Vezina candidate with a coach who thinks the best defense is a good offense (actually said that) and a defense of: an already aged Timonen, Coburn, Grossmann, Mezsaros, Schenn, and Gervais. It’s amazing that when they traded Richarda and Carter not a single Dman came over in the trade and not a single pick aquired was used on a Defensive prospect. Instead they bought Bryz and expected the team to stop giving up goals.

      These are the reasons why Philly will never have a good goalie. And I’m a Flyers fan.

      • ibieiniid - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:23 PM

        this post is not loose butthole

      • east96st - Apr 8, 2013 at 3:39 PM

        Actually, the media scrutiny in Philly will be even worse than that. Columbus has ONE, count ‘em, one major newspaper and it’s part owner of the Jackets, so it toes the company line. If you had read the Dispatch over the past few years, you would swear the Jackets were on the cusp of greatness every year. Columbus is actually an amazing market for a hockey player to ESCAPE media scrutiny. For the majority of Central Ohio, if it ain’t Buckeyes, they ain’t interested. I often thought Nash could have become a serial killer and it would have taken five years for anyone to notice. If you’re right that the Flyers expect Mason to cover all the mistakes made by the team, night after night, it’s just not going to work. He’s not “that guy”. He’s not mentally strong enough to shoulder that burden and be called out in the media night after night if it goes bad. He can probably cover 3 or 4 mistakes most nights, 9 to 10 a few nights, but to ask Steve Mason to cover 9 to 10 mistakes every night is setting your team and Mason up for failure.

    • gaudy28 - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:30 PM

      Dude you let in 7 goals in 40 shots I’m going to BOO and yell at you.

      At least he has a upside. And thank god Leighton is finally gone. I’d pay a 3rd just to get rid of him.

  7. me6661973 - Apr 8, 2013 at 2:42 PM

    I dont understand why he didnt start saturday give brzy a break!

  8. mclovinhockey - Apr 8, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    The buyout of briere is not 100%.
    Teams do have interest in him with his contract. Flyers can simply let him know if he doesn’t agree to be moved he will be bought out.

    Danny does have a lot of interest, he does have a few personal problems that are the reason for him not wanting to be moved. Which also could end up resulting in him retiring post buyout.

    Lots of things to take into consideration.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 8, 2013 at 4:26 PM

      You’re right because his salary drops to $3 mil then $2 mil in the final year, which is very affordable. The biggest problems are his $6.5 cap hit and his lack of production over the past two seasons (excluding playoffs). With the cap ceiling dropping to $64 million, Briere would, most likely, have to be traded to a non-playoff club. Because most playoff contenders would already be close to the lowered ceiling, if not over it. And would he waive his NMC to go to place he doesn’t want to just because the Flyers want to improve their books? Boston was interested this season but I don’t think they will be again because some of their young guys will be coming up for new contracts in the next couple seasons, and they’re gonna be up against the cap. I can’t think of any viable destinations bc the non-playoff clubs usually want to build through youth (they don’t want a 36 yr old with dwindling skills) and the contenders just won’t have the room. That’s why it’s so unfortunate that he got hurt or he’d probably be in Boston right now. So if they can find any takers this offseason then great but I just don’t see it happening. And if they could find a team they probably wouldn’t get anything more than a mid-to-late pick in return, as it would be a salary dump. I just think it’s more likely than not Briere is bought out.

  9. colonelfancy - Apr 8, 2013 at 3:45 PM

    I liked Mase okay, but he needed a change, the Jackets could not afford to gamble on another year to see if he returns to Calder form, and the Bryz experiment is too inconsistant for Philly brass and fans. Two good netminders with different issues, I suppose.

  10. jhuck92 - Apr 8, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    I wouldn’t wipe my ass with Bryz’s contract. Or Luongo’s, for that matter.

  11. cameltoews - Apr 8, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    This is an honest question but I know it has nothing to do with mason. To flyers fans: so you guys view hartnell as a 30 goal scorer or was last season more of a fluke and he is closer to 15-20 goals. I feel he has expectations to put the puck in the net like he is Nash or kovalchuk when in reality he is not that type of player.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 8, 2013 at 6:21 PM

      No I think Hartnell fully understands his role as net front presence, not as a sniper. But he’s scored 24+ goals in 4 out of the 5 seasons he’s been here (not including this injury plagued, shortened season), so he definitely has an ability to put the puck in the net. He’s probably never gonna get close to the 37 but he’s better than a 15 goal scorer. 25 goals, 50 pts, and a ton of penalty minutes is what Hartnell will give you any given season.

  12. cameltoews - Apr 8, 2013 at 6:25 PM

    So do you agree with some of the fans that may want to get rid of him for cap reasons? He seems like a player I would want to keep on my team. Guys like him are tough to find in terms of skill/grit.

    • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 8, 2013 at 6:44 PM

      I wouldn’t get rid of him, he’s a heart and soul type player. I just listed him in my comment above bc the Flyers will be close to the cap ceiling and his cap hit gets bumped up to $4.75 mil next season. But I think when he’s healthy and other guys are firing on all cylinders he’s a very valuable piece. He wears an “A” for a reason. And he’s been working really well on a line with Simmonds and Brayden Schenn. All three of those guys have some sandpaper to their game and I’d imagine they’re very tough to play against, especially when they’re on the forecheck. Plus he’s a fan favorite. So to answer your question, no I think Hartnell stays put for atleast a few more years.

  13. cameltoews - Apr 8, 2013 at 6:56 PM

    Thanks dude I appreciate it. Good luck to your flyers. I would love to see more Atlantic teams in the playoffs. You got to love when those teams play against each other.

  14. mclovinhockey - Apr 8, 2013 at 8:47 PM

    @phillyphanatic, while a great deal of teams near the cap floor don’t usually see the post season. The blues preds, coyotes and even islanders now are at the bottom of the barrel in spending and most of them seem to be playoff teams.

    Islanders are also a way Danny could stay close to home.

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