Goalie Steve Mason signed a two-year contract with the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday. The contract has an average annual value of $4.1 million.
"It was a term that worked for both sides," Mason said. "With the Jets' situation in terms of players coming up for renewals, they couldn't necessarily project what the [salary] cap was going to be like and how much they would have to work with. And for myself, the Jets provided me with a salary I was extremely comfortable with and also lets us revisit this next summer if we have a good year and maybe, potentially, signing that longer-term deal. For myself, I'm happy with the term, I'm happy with the average of the contract, and my main focus is starting the first year of this contract off right and helping the team have some success which is definitely needed for the organization."
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Mason, 29, is expected to split time with Connor Hellebuyck, who is entering his third NHL season. He was 26-21-8 with a 2.66 goals-against average, a .908 save percentage and three shutouts in 58 games (54 starts) with the Philadelphia Flyers last season. He spent the past five seasons with the Flyers since being traded from the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 3, 2013.
"I look at it as a great opportunity," Mason said. "Every goaltender wants to be a No. 1 goaltender, and I think there's an opportunity here to work with Connor and play lots of hockey. Working with it, our goal is going to be able to provide the Jets with some real consistent, strong goaltending night in and night out, regardless of who is in the net. I definitely look at the Winnipeg situation as a spot where I can come in and help a team succeed, have a chance to play some hockey games and meaningful hockey games down the stretch and hopefully into the playoffs. Look at the roster, it's definitely a playoff team in my eyes."
Mason was selected by Columbus in the third round (No. 69) of the 2006 NHL Draft. Mason went 33-20-7 with a 2.29 GAA, a .916 save percentage and 10 shutouts in 2008-09 to win the Calder Trophy as the League's top rookie and was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team.
"I've been in the League for nine full years now and I believe every year my game has grown," Mason said. "At 29 years old right now, I feel I'm entering the prime of my career. … I believe that I can be an integral part of helping this team win hockey games. I can come up with the big saves that we can need on any given night that can help us get over the edge here."
In 463 games (446 starts), Mason is 200-177-63 with a 2.68 GAA, a .911 save percentage and 33 shutouts with the Flyers and Blue Jackets. He is 2-9 in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games (11 starts).