37-Year-Old Goalie – Free Agent
Chris Mason Contract Information:
Signed a one-year deal with Nashville in July 2012.
Mason was pelted with pucks Saturday night in a 3-1 loss to Columbus. He made 44 saves and allowed just two goals.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Chris Mason.
Following a combined four years with St. Louis and Atlanta/Winnipeg, Mason will now return to the franchise where his NHL career began back in 1998-99, signing a one-year deal with Nashville in July. Unfortunately for Mason, he will serve as backup to Pekka Rinne, whose 73 games played last season tied him with Jonas Hiller for first among all NHL netminders. Bottom line Ė donít expect Mason to see a lot of ice time in 2012-13.
Mason posted a goals-against average of 3.39 last season, which is the highest of his career since becoming a regular in the NHL. At this point in his career, Mason is a platoon goalie at the best of times, and really, the majority of time between the pipes in Winnipeg will probably go to his teammate Ondrej Pavelec. Mason is only worth drafting as an occasional plug-and-play option where the opponent is favorable.
Coming off his first career 30-win season, Mason will be counted on to take the lionís share of starts between the pipes for the Thrashers in 2010. The Thrashers signed the veteran goaltender to a two-year deal in the offseason, presumably to help bring along youngster Ondrej Pavelec at a more cautious pace than they did with Kari Lehtonen in the past. Mason played a key role in helping the Blues make a late-season push for a playoff spot last season, and the Thrashers will need a similar performance in 2010 from him. With an improved defense, itís not unreasonable for Mason to lower his 2.59 GAA from last season. Expect him to start 50-60 games for Atlanta, and hit 25-30 wins again in 2010 depending on the impact Pavelec has on his playing time.
Mason was in the right place at the right time last season, when he turned in the best stretch of his career during the second half run to the playoffs. He's a team's No. 1 goalie for the first time in his career and is in the final year of a contract. There's plenty of incentive here, but can he sustain for an entire season? The Blues added Ty Conklin as a backup.
Mason was brought in to backup Manny Legace and should get at least 25 starts this year. However, if he outplays Legace there's a chance he could become the primary goaltender. Mason has put up stellar numbers in the past as a backup but his 2.90 GAA and .898 save percentage in 51 games last season are not the numbers that any team wants out of a starter.
Over a decade of patience and persistence have finally paid off for Mason, as he finally becomes the No. 1 net minder in Nashville. After being drafted in the 5th Round of the 1995 draft, Mason has used the last several years to polish his skills in the minor leagues and as a back-up goalie for the Predators for the last three seasons. Mason proved himself beyond a doubt in each of the last two seasons spelling the injured Tomas Vokoun in 58 starts. Over that time, he not only filled in well but he out-performed Vokoun in most statistical categories. Mason posted a 24-11 record last season with a great 2.38 GAA and .925 save percentage, which ranked him among the best in the NHL. Mason should get somewhere close to 60 starts this season and despite the expected drop off in scoring the Predators should manage to play pretty good defense in front of him. We expect that to translate into about 30 Ė 35 wins and with very respectable goal tending averages.
Mason is one of the better back-up goalies in the NHL. He spelled starter Tomas Vokoun very well during his season-ending injury last year and tallied a 12-5-1 record with a GAA of 2.54 in 23 appearances. If something happens to Tomas Vokoun, Mason becomes a hot fantasy commodity.
Mason proved to be a reliable NHL backup in '03-'04, but could be hard-pressed to hold off young Brian Finley much longer. Don't expect him to get in more than about 20 games, even if he holds onto the #2 job behind Tomas Vokoun.