Steve Mason is getting a much-needed change of scenery. However, it’s not exactly a place that’s been kind to goaltenders — he’s been traded from Columbus to Philadelphia.
Mason, 24, is 3-6-1 with a .899 save percentage this season. The 24-year-old won the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year after an excellent 2008-09 campaign, but for the most part has struggled ever since.
The rise of Sergei Bobrovsky, who ironically was acquired last summer from Philadelphia, made Mason doubly expendable.
The Flyers will obviously be hoping Mason can regain his rookie form.
Pierre LeBrun of ESPN reports the Flyers sent goalie Michael Leighton and a third-round pick in exchange for Mason.
Via CSNPhilly.com, Mason told TSN that’s he looking forward to the opportunity to resurrect his career.
“I’m really excited and going to a new organization with a fresh opportunity to play with some players I have a history with from World Juniors there. Just really looking forward to meeting the new guys and starting off fresh,” Mason said.
“I’m more than thrilled to have this new opportunity. With the way Sergei has played, he’s taken the ball and really run with it.
“Every goaltender wants a fresh start and not be sitting on the bench. I’m going to a new organization to re-establish my career and really looking forward to that.”
Montreal added some forward depth on Tuesday, acquiring diminutive forward Paul Byron off waivers from Calgary.
Byron, 26, is a veteran of nearly 150 career NHL games, most coming with the Flames. Despite fairly solid production over the last two years — 40 points in 104 games — he was exposed to waivers on Monday, along with fellow forward Mason Raymond.
(Calgary does have a logjam of players at forward, hence parting ways with Byron and Raymond.)
Byron can play both wing and center but, at 5-foot-7, 153 pounds, is one of the most undersized skaters in the league. Thankfully for him, Montreal has an affinity for undersized forwards, with the likes of Brendan Gallagher (5-foot-9, 184 pounds) and David Desharnais (5-foot-7, 174 pounds) already on the active roster.
Byron could also fill Zack Kassian‘s roster spot. Kassian is currently suspended without pay while undergoing Stage 2 of the NHL’s Substance Abuse program.
The New York Islanders have claimed goalie Jean-Francois Berube off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings, the club announced today.
Berube won the Calder Cup last season with AHL Manchester, but the 24-year-old has yet to appear in an NHL game.
That the Isles claimed Berube could be evidence that Jaroslav Halak will not be ready to start the season after all.
If that’s the case, Berube would back up Thomas Greiss, with Stephon Williams expected to go to the AHL.
The Isles open their regular season Friday at home versus the Blackhawks, then play the next day in Chicago.