Re-signed Steve Mason excited for fresh start

Re-signed Steve Mason excited for fresh start

April 8, 2013, 11:45 am
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Steve Mason said he wanted to add some continuity to his life in terms of settling down with a fresh start as a goaltender.
 
He got his wish on Monday as the Flyers re-signed the 24-year-old to a one-year contract extension at a vastly reduced salary of $1.5 million.
 
Mason, who would have been a restricted free agent this summer, was earning $2.9 million and would have had to be qualified by the Flyers at $3.2 million.
 
By signing early, that nullifies the Flyers’ requirement to qualify him.
 
Mason’s agent, Anton Thun, agreed last week at the trade deadline that his client would sign in the days ahead for a salary cap friendly number reflective of Mason’s past struggles over the last several years in Columbus where his goals against was over 3.00 and his save percentage under .900.
 
“[The contract] gives me something to look forward to and something to be really excited for and work for, at the same time,” Mason said. “It’s going to be a great opportunity for myself. There’s no better organization in my opinion. I’m really looking for the opportunity to play in front of the Philadelphia fans.”
 
Mason will continue to back up Ilya Bryzgalov. He replaced Bryzgalov in the third period of Saturday’s ugly 4-1 loss in Winnipeg and had nine saves without giving up a goal.
 
“My goal is to be the best goaltender I can be,” Mason said. “That’s a No. 1 goaltender. I know that’s a lot of work but it’s something I am prepared to do. It started a couple days ago when the trade went down [for Michael Leighton]. I’m really excited to get it going.”
 
There’s a chance Mason could see a couple games as a starter if the Flyers are eliminated from playoff contention in the remaining weeks of the regular season.
 
“It’s been a tough couple years in Columbus,” Mason said. “Coming to Philadelphia, I kind of leave all that baggage there. Start over again. This is a great opportunity … I realize there’s a lot of challenges in front of me, but as a hockey player, this is what you want …”