As expected, the Flyers have agreed to a one-year contract
extension with Steve Mason, the goaltender acquired from the Columbus Blue
Jackets at last week’s trade deadline. If compensation is supposed to be any indication
though, it’s unclear why Ilya Bryzgalov should feel an imminent threat.
Mason inked his deal for a very manageable $1.5 million next
season, roughly half of what he would have been due as a restricted free agent
this summer. As for what the big picture viewpoint, it’s not a sum that
suggests he’s in line to become Philly’s starting netminder anytime soon.
Since the trade many observers have suggested Mason’s
arrival could be the beginning of the end for Bryzgalov, a topic we touched on in
greater detail here. Say what you want about the performance of Bryz, who
carries the eighth-highest average salary in the NHL this season, but Ed Snider
has made it clear he wants to see stability in net.
Choosing to use buyout on Bryz this offseason so the Orange
& Black can go with Mason plus some other inexpensive free agent would
seemingly fly in the face of everything the front office has been saying
Does the addition of Mason get the ball rolling for an
eventual change in crease? Sure, it’s a situation to monitor going forward.
However, a one-year, $1.5-million extension shouldn’t set off any alarms that the
Flyers are ready to tear it down quite yet, meaning this upcoming offseason.
We’ll see. You can never be too certain when Paul Holmgren
is pulling the levers, but it appears Bryzgalov will get at least one more
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