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Steve Mason signs two-year, $8.2 million contract with Winnipeg Jets

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Mason is officially gone.

Washington Capitals v Philadelphia Flyers Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Steve Mason is officially no longer a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. The free agent goaltender struck a deal with the Winnipeg Jets right at high noon on Saturday.

According to John Shannon of Sportsnet and other reports, it’s a two-year deal worth $4.1 million per year. That’s the exact same money Mason earned per year on his last contract with the Flyers.

Meanwhile, the Flyers are replacing Mason with Brian Elliott, formerly of the St. Louis Blues and Calgary Flames. Elliott’s contract is also two years and worth $2.75 million per year, and when you combine that with the raise Michal Neuvirth got back at the trade deadline, the Flyers are still spending $500,000 less on goaltending this year than last year.

Mason’s career in Philadelphia essentially came to an end in March when Neuvirth was given that contract extension.

It was clear that Mason wasn’t going to re-sign here in tandem with Neuvirth — who wound up with significantly worse numbers than Mason when all was said and done last season. Here’s what we wrote at the time:

The Flyers went out of their way on trade deadline day to side with the goalie who not only has been worse this season, but has been worse throughout his career. You don’t even have to be a big fan of Steve Mason or a hater of Michal Neuvirth to admit that of the two, Mase is objectively the better goaltender. These are just facts.

And if you’re Steve Mason, would you want to come back to this? Would you want to come back and, at best, work in tandem with the guy who the team signed over you, despite the fact that you have consistently proven that you are the better player?

Obviously, Mason did not want to come back to that. He’s not coming back to it. We can argue whether or not keeping Mason around for the longer-term would have been the right move given all the young goalies in the system, or whether or not Elliott on a cheaper deal than Mason for two years is a better deal. Time will tell, I suppose.

But based on the last five years, it’s a safe bet to assume that Mason’s .908 save percentage from 2016-17 is a bad outlier, especially when you consider the defense the Flyers had in front of him. He’s probably closer to a .918 goalie, as he was in 2015-16 when he had a stellar second-half to carry the Flyers to the postseason.

Time will tell if he is the guy who helps Winnipeg finally settle down at the goalie position, but we’re wishing him well.