Flyperbole: Rumor Ruminations on Steve Mason’s Next Contract, Henrik Lundqvist

Picture by Amy Irvin

MASON MISSION

I am absolutely terrified of the contract that the Flyers are going to offer Steve Mason. Mase has been absolutely stellar this year. He has surpassed my wildest expectations thus far. But I’m waiting for the bottom to fall out of the bottom of the cardboard box that is Flyers goaltending.

 

Maybe I feel like Charlie Brown and Flyers goaltending is Lucy with the football, but I get the feeling that Mason will get a nice, long contract, and immediately start playing like hot garbage. I could be way off-base here. I HOPE I’m way off-base here. But good grief, I sure hope Steve Mason’s next contract is somewhat reasonable.

 

And no, this isn’t a matter of “if”, it’s absolutely “when”. The Flyers love Mason and took a chance on him when his stock was at its lowest point. Mason seems happy with the team that gave his career the fresh start that it desperately needed. They’re going to commit to each other; the questions are the length and price.

 

Lyle Richardson of Spector’s Hockey threw a figure of $5 million per season out there. The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi threw this in a recent story mentioning Mason’s contract:

 

He doesn’t figure to get the type of deal that Carey Price signed with Montreal (six years, $39 million) in 2012, but Thun thinks Mason has a similar pedigree.

 

Thun is referring to Mason’s agent, Anton Thun. Comparing his client to Carey Price is, naturally, hilarious, but also expected. An agent trying to get more money for his client and subsequently himself? Well, I never!

 

$5 million per season sounds a little high to me initially. Sergei Bobrovsky recently got $5.6 million a season from the Columbus Blue Jackets, but this was also a short-term (2-year) deal and coming off of Bob winning the Vezina. Marc-Andre Fleury has an AAV of $5 million towards the end of his 7-year deal over in Pittsburgh. Jimmy Howard has an AAV of just under $5.3 million in Detroit on a 6-year deal. These guys have better track records than Mason, but if the Flyers believe in this guy the way that they seem to, this would seem to be the salary range to aim for.

 

The Flyers can’t sign Mason until 2014 hits, so it’s all speculation until then. Unless, of course, you’re Mike Milbury and don’t know that the Flyers can’t sign him until then and go right on ripping the team for not getting a deal done yet because you’re a jackass.

 

 

BUT WHAT ABOUT LUNDQVIST?

 

The New York Rangers re-signed star goalie Henrik Lundqvist to a 7-year, $59.5 million contract on Wednesday. While Henrik will surely age handsomely, signing a 31 year old goalie to a long term extension like that isn’t ideal. Unless, of course, you’re keeping him from your division rival.

 

Because how dare we fathom a signing on its own merits and not play “but what if the Flyers were involved?” (the game that is Flyperbole’s life blood), Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos said on Hockey Central that “The Flyers would have gone nine-plus on Lundqvist” (s/t to SB Nation’s Matt Brigidi)

 

The idea is absurd, and yet so deliciously Flyers. Sure, it’s no [Flourtown’s] Mike Richter to the Flyers, as was rumored so often in the late 90s, but it sure is special. Yes, we know the Flyers are ALWAYS looking for goaltending help. But, as mentioned above, Steve Mason has been playing out of his mind, and also happens to be six years younger than Lundqvist.

 

Even if the Flyers overpay Mason, it’s not going to approach a cap hit close to $8.5 million. King Henrik’s got a tremendous pedigree, but (as mentioned above) the Flyers are just getting out of a bad divorce (alimony through 2027!) and don’t need to commit themselves to an older man for a long time. Even one as handsome as Lundqvist.

 

Where am I?

 

Ah, yes. This seems to be yet another case of throwing the Flyers out there simply for the sake of throwing the Flyers out there. It’s all a moot point since Lundqvist didn’t actually make it to free agency. So, let this be the last time we mention it. Until the Flyers trade for 37 year old Lundqvist and give him a cushy 5 year extension.