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Jets Sign Free Agent Goaltender Steve Mason

By Scott Taylor

Steve Mason is the newest member of the Winnipeg Jets. Brian Elliott was already off to New York while Al Montoya and Peter Budaj weren’t available so Steve Mason it is. The unrestricted free agent agreed to a two-year $8.1 million deal. Yikes.

The 29-year-old goaltender has played the last four-plus seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers. Last season the Flyers were 39-33-10, 11th in the Eastern Conference. Mason was 26-21-8 with a 2.66 goals-against average, a .908 save percentage and three shutouts in 58 games (54 starts).

He spent the past five seasons with the Flyers after being traded to Philly by the Columbus Blue Jackets on April 3, 2013.

Connor Hellebuyck played in 56 games (53 starts) for Winnipeg last season. The Jets finished ninth in the West with a record of 40-35-7. Hellebuyck was 26-19-0 with a 2.89 goals against average and a .907 save percentage.

Based on numbers alone, this is a wash, at best. Especially considering that Elliott, who did interest the Jets, signed a two-year deal with the New York Rangers for $5.2 million.

Mason was selected by the Blue Jackets in the third round (No. 69) of the 2006 NHL Draft. He went 33-20-7 with a 2.29 GAA, a .916 save percentage and a League-high 10 shutouts in 2008-09 to win the Calder Trophy as the NHL rookie of the year and was named to the NHL Second All-Star Team that season. Playing at least 40 games, he has never matched that season since.

In 463 games (445 starts), Mason is 200-177-63 with a 2.68 GAA and a .911 save percentage. He is 2-9 in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games (11 starts).



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