The Flyers have signed goalie Steve Mason to a three-year contract. It is worth $12.3 million, or $4.1 million per year. Cory Schneider and Antti Niemi would be the closest comparable players at that price point. It is a big raise from his current 1-year, $1.5 million deal.
It is neither a terrible deal for the Flyers or a particularly good one, but let's quickly talk about the pros and cons.
Mason has, for the most part since coming to Philly at last year's deadline, been a very capable No. 1 goaltender for the Flyers. He's been really good for a lot of that stretch, so much so that there was not-so-farfetched talk of him perhaps making the Canadian Olympic Team. Locking him up before he hits free agency is good.
In the last two months, though,Mason has not been that same goaltender. He went 27 games before he gave up four goals as a Flyer, but since the second week of December, he's done that four times. Over his last 16 games, Mason has a sub-.900 save percentage -- .894 to be exact. That's really not good. It's not No. 1-caliber.
We'll have more thoughts on this later in the day, but here's my gut reaction right now: Sure, Mason has been very good for much of his time as a Flyer, and yes, he's by all accounts turned over a new leaf from a mental approach perspective since leaving Columbus. And yes, he has a very slow defense in front of him that cannot be overlooked.
But given his really ugly career history to date, why not wait a month or two to see if this recent cold stretch is more than just a cold stretch? Why not wait and see if he snaps out of it, and gets back to playing the ~.915 or ~.920 hockey he had been playing, or if despite all the apparent progress he's made since coming here, he really is just a below-average, ~.900 goaltender.
Feels like the Flyers pulled the trigger a bit too quick here. Your thoughts?