January 9, 2017
Ron Hextall will have plenty of interesting decisions to make this summer as he builds his roster for the 2017-18 and beyond. One of the biggest decisions will be what to do between the pipes.
Both Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth will be unrestricted free agents this summer and it is unlikely that both will be re-signed. So who returns to Philadelphia and who moves on to another franchise?
Neuvirth has struggled to stay healthy this season after coming off his best season as a pro. Unless he can prove that he can stay on the ice in the second half, his health concerns may prevent him from getting another contract with the Flyers.
Mason has played better than his numbers suggest, but might need a strong second half in order to get re-signed. It is hard to believe that both goaltenders return because, as Sam Carchidi of The Inquirer points out, Anthony Stolarz would be exposed in this June’s upcoming expansion draft.
“It is worth noting that Las Vegas will have a 48-hour window before the expansion draft to sign unrestricted free agents. If they signed Neuvirth or Mason, the Flyers would then be able to pull back a goalie, such as Stolarz, and he would no longer be available.
Among the veteran goalies who could be available to Vegas in the expansion draft or in a trade: Marc-Andre Fleury, Jimmy Howard, Semyon Varlamov, Roberto Luongo, and Thomas Greiss.
If the Flyers don't re-sign Mason or Neuvirth - and Stolarz remains - would they have enough confidence in the New Jersey native to make him their No. 1 goalie next season?”
Carchidi goes on to suggest that Mason should return on a short term basis until Stolarz, Alex Lyon, Carter Hart, Felix Sandstrom, or Merrick Madsen is ready to become a number one net minder. Do you agree with him?