Steve Mason on Saturday signed a three-year extension with the Flyers. (USA Today Images)
VOORHEES, N.J. -- Steve Mason no longer has to worry about his contract situation.
After signing a three-year extension with the Flyers on Saturday (see story), the 25-year-old netminder can put his focus back on keeping the puck out of his net.
He got paid. He’ll make $4.1 million per year when his new deal kicks in after this season. But that’s not exactly what Mason was hoping for.
“We were shooting for Clayton Kershaw-type money, but that didn’t happen,” Mason said after Sunday’s practice at Skate Zone.
Mason is of course referring to the seven-year, $215 million extension -- the richest deal for a pitcher in MLB history -- the Los Angeles Dodgers gave Kershaw last week.
After a few laughs, Mason quickly got back on track.
“Hockey has been very good to me and put me in a position where I can have a nice lifestyle so this is something I’m very thankful for."
All jokes aside, Mason is relieved the negotiations are over so he can get back to what he does best.
“I’m just happy that it’s out of the way and I don’t have to focus on that anymore,” he said. “I can just look forward to being here for the next number of years and try to get this team into a position where we are in the playoffs and can make a long run and eventually reach the goal of winning the Stanley Cup.”
Mason was frustrated with his performance in Saturday’s 6-4 win over the Islanders (see story). He allowed four goals on 24 shots and was yanked from the game in the second period.
His numbers have dipped a bit over the past few weeks, but that isn’t because of a lack of effort. The Flyers’ defense has been shaky at best in front of Mason and Ray Emery, allowing opponents to score 20 goals in regulation over the past five games.
“All I can do now is just focus on stopping the puck,” Mason said. “We’re in a dogfight with the rest of the division to make the playoffs. Every point matters. You look at last night’s game, that was an ugly win, a bad win. But at the end of the day, we got the two points and that’s all that matters.”
Mason has revitalized his career since the Columbus Blue Jackets decided to ship him to Philadelphia last season. He’s worked closely with goalie coach Jeff Reese to polish his game and now finds himself as the Flyers’ goalie of the future.
That’s something Mason takes to heart.
“I’m just very proud to be a Philadelphia Flyer,” he said. “It’s a position where, being part of this organization, there’s a sense of pride that comes along with the tradition and what the Flyers’ logos mean. I’m just very fortunate to be a part of it.”