The Flyers have signed goaltender Steve Mason to a one-year, $1.5 million contract extension. The goes into effect for the 2013-14 season, and Mason will still be a restricted free agent come next summer.
Given Mason's struggles over the last few seasons, it makes sense that he and the Flyers negotiated what amounts to nearly a 50 percent pay cut compared to his current contract. Mason signed a deal with the Blue Jackets in 2011 that pays him $2.9 million against the cap -- $3.2 million in real dollars for the current season.
Had Mason reached free agency, the Flyers would have had to send him a qualifying offer of $3.2 million in order to keep him, but he's played so poorly over the last several seasons that it makes sense for him to negotiate a salary lower than that to guarantee he remains in the league.
There are certainly other (perhaps better) backup options available via unrestricted free agency this coming summer that the Flyers could have paid less than $1.5 million, but they clearly are high on Mason and feel he's a bit of a reclamation project here. The one-year deal lowers the risk -- if he plays well next season, he gets a raise, maybe even kicks Ilya Bryzgalov to the curb via amnesty, and everybody is happy. If he sucks, he's gone. Next season is a very big year for Steve Mason and the rest of his career.
What do you think of the signing?