Steve Mason’s time with Montreal didn’t last very long. After acquiring him Saturday morning, the Habs played him on unconditional waivers for the purposes of a buyout. It had been reported that they were shopping him with retention on his contract but evidently, there weren’t any takers.
As a result, instead of paying him $4.1 million next season, Montreal will pay Mason $1,366,666.66 in each of the next two seasons which will also represent his cap hit during that time. While there is a second buyout window that can be opened up by arbitration filings (newly-acquired Joel Armia along with Phillip Danault and Jacob de la Rose are all eligible), the Habs couldn’t get rid of Mason during that window as he wasn’t with the team before the trade deadline.
Montreal now has a little over $17 million in cap space left to work with and five restricted free agents to re-sign – the three above as well as Michael McCarron and Kerby Rychel. That gives them plenty of room to continue to try to add to the roster (or to perhaps make another trade to absorb assets in exchange for cap space). Assuming they re-sign all of those restricted free agents, they’ll be up to 42 contracts out of the limit of 50.