There was a 10-minute huddle in the hallway outside the Air Canada Centre’s visiting dressing room around noon Thursday, as the Flyers’ new goalie and his agent, Anton Thun, went through some paperwork with Steve Mason, showed him where to sign, then i’s were dotted and t’s were crossed. Presumably, this made official the Flyers’ latest goalie transaction involving the Columbus Blue Jackets, this one sending their backup to Philly on Wednesday, NHL trade deadline day. It was an interesting morning with Mason suiting up in Flyers gear for the first time and going through an on-ice workout with only two new teammates and two of his coaches because the Flyers had no morning skate. Things got more interesting afterward. First, there was Mason looking and sounding giddy about getting a fresh start with the Flyers on the heels of following his 2008-09 Rookie of the Year season in Columbus with four seasons of struggles. Then, there was Flyers goalie coach Jeff Reese talking up Mason like the organization had just acquired a young Patrick Roy. And finally there was Thun openly and willingly sharing news that his client almost certainly will be signing a one-year contract extension with the Flyers in a week or so, adding that Mason is here to steal the starting job from love-him-or-hate-him regular Ilya Bryzgalov. “That’s the whole point of coming here,” Thun said before the Flyers-Maple Leafs game. “He didn’t come here to be a permanent backup. He’s got two years left before he’s an unrestricted free agent. He came here, basically, to press that reset button and compete for the No. 1 job with Mr. Bryzgalov. Bryzgalov is just two seasons into a nine-year, $51 million contract, and while he’s played well for much of 2012-13 after having on-and-off ice issues the previous season, he’ll still be a candidate to have his contract voided by amnesty rules in the NHL’s new CBA this summer.
Mason aiming for No. 1 job
Courier-Post | Apr 6