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Steve Mason placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buyout

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The Canadiens will terminate Mason’s contract after acquiring him earlier today.

Winnipeg Jets v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images

After acquiring him in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets earlier in the day, the Montreal Canadiens will buy out the contract of Steve Mason.

The goaltender had been brought into the Jets organization to take a starting role, but was supplanted by the exceptional play of Connor Hellebuyck. Unable to perform well when called upon, Mason was expendable for the team, and his hefty contract became a burden for a team in serious contention for the Stanley Cup.

The plan for the Canadiens was clearly to buy Mason out from the start, using the cap space they had available to secure some draft picks and an NHL player. With him now set to become a free agent, other teams may be willing to give him an inexpensive deal, and allow him to refind his game without the pressure of needing to live up to a large contract.