Steve Mason

Mason to make first Flyers start tonight? (Update: Nope)


Perhaps it’s appropriate that Steve Mason (a goaltender that was at the heart of his former team’s problems) could get his first start for the Flyers (a team that’s been through countless struggling goalies) in a place like Toronto (where goaltending has been at the heart of the Maple Leafs’ problems for the last decade).

Still no official word from the Flyers, but that may well be the case tonight at the Air Canada Centre, where Philadelphia will try to win its fourth straight game against a Leafs side that’s closing in on its first playoff appearance since 2004.

(Update 12:21 p.m. ET: Mason says he’s not starting, but read the rest of the post anyway, OK? The Flyers play Saturday in Winnipeg. Maybe he’ll start then.)

According to Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, 24-year-old Mason — who was traded from Columbus yesterday — could figure prominently in Philly’s future.

“We see him as one of our two goalies,” Holmgren said. “Not only for the rest of this year, but moving forward. We’ll just leave it at that for now.”

Of course, the Flyers also have 32-year-old Ilya Bryzgalov signed through 2019-20.

Bryzgalov is 16-14-3 with a .899 save percentage this season.

Mason is 3-6-1 with an identical .899 save percentage.

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Related: Flyers GM still thinks Steve Mason has ‘tremendous upside’

Sharks name Pavelski captain; Thornton, Couture alternates

Joe Pavelski, Joe Thornton
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Joe Pavelski is the new captain of the San Jose Sharks. The club made the announcement today via Twitter.

The former captain, Joe Thornton, will be an alternate captain, along with Logan Couture.

Pavelski, 31, was the Sharks’ leading scorer last season, finishing with 37 goals and 33 assists. He’s also signed through 2018-19, so giving him the ‘C’ makes sense from a long-term stability perspective.

Couture, 26, is also signed through 2018-19, while Thornton, 36, only has two years left on his contract.

The Sharks had four alternate captains (Thornton, Pavelski, Patrick Marleau and Marc-Edouard Vlasic) in 2014-15, but no captain.

Related: DeBoer says Sharks will have a captain next season

After PTO, Upshall signs one-year deal with Blues

Florida Panthers v Ottawa Senators
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Scottie Upshall has parlayed his training camp tryout into a contract with St. Louis.

On Monday, the Blues agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the veteran forward, worth $700,000 at the NHL level. The deal comes after Upshall spent all of training camp and the preseason impressing the Blues his speed and skating ability, no small feat for a 31-year-old veteran with over 500 NHL games on his odometer.

But where Upshall fits in the Blues lineup — and within the organization — remains to be seen.

The club has plenty of depth up front and Upshall isn’t coming off a terrific campaign, having scored just eight goals and 15 points in 63 games with Florida last season. That said, he showed enough to be just one of a handful of veterans on PTOs to score a contract.