Blue Jackets, Flyers swap backup goaltenders
Steve Mason traded to Philadelphia for Leighton, 3rd-round pick
Just when Paul Holmgren appeared focused on filling a need on defence, the Philadelphia Flyers general manager picked up a goalie on NHL trade deadline day.
The Flyers on Wednesday traded for Steve Mason, reportedly sending fellow netminder Michael Leighton and a 2015 third-round draft pick to Columbus, which is in the playoff hunt in the Western Conference.
Mason, 24, has a 3-6-1 record, 2.95 goals-against average and .899 save percentage in 13 games this season. He is expected to back up Ilya Bryzgalov, who has appeared in 18 of the Flyers’ past 19 games and 33 of 35 overall this season.
Mason, who hails from Oakville, Ont., sported a GAA above 3.00 in each of the previous seasons after being named the National Hockey League’s top rookie in 2009 after winning 33 games with a 2.29 GAA and .916 save percentage.
Leighton battled a finger injury earlier in the season and had been playing in the American Hockey League after appearing in one NHL game (five goals on 26 shots).
The belief is Philadelphia will buy out the remainder of Bryzgalov's contract at the end of the season. The goaltender will still be owed $34.5 million US over seven years with an annual salary cap hit of $5.67 million.