When Philadelphia Flyers GM Paul Holmgren traded for goaltender Steve Mason in April of 2013, the hockey world laughed and Flyers fans probably cried.
Less than a year later, it’s Mason who’s laughing, all the way to the bank.
After a strong first half of the 2013-14 season, it was announced Saturday afternoon that Mason has signed a three-year, $12.3-million (AAV $4.1) contract extension. Mason is currently on a $1.5-million deal he signed shortly after being acquired.
The season began with the No. 1 gig in Philly up for grabs between Mason and Ray Emery, and it’s been the 25-year-old Mason who grabbed the reins early. He’s 19-11-4 with a .917 SP and a 2.48 GAA, leading the Flyers to second in the Metropolitan and fifth in the Eastern Conference.
After many years of instability in goal, the Flyers have been getting reliable goaltending from Mason all season long. It’s been a refreshing change for a fan base who’ve suffered through names like Niittymaki, Esche, Leighton, Boucher, and Bryzgalov.
Since taking home the Calder Trophy in 2008-09 with the Blue Jackets on the strength of 10 shutouts, Mason had stumbled in his remaining four years with the Jackets. His save percentage was below .900 in two of those seasons, and no higher than .901 overall. It was a low-risk acquisition for Holmgren at the time, and as of now it appears to have been a brilliant one.