Roenick: Mason is not the Flyers' answer for a Stanley Cup
Jeremy Roenick does not believe the Flyers will win the Stanley Cup with Steve Mason in net.
"I like Steve Mason, but I don’t think [he] is the answer to winning a Stanley Cup,” the former Flyer and current NHL analyst said on Comcast SportsNet’s "Philly Sports Talk" on Wednesday.
"I think you need an upper echelon defenseman, I think you need an upper echelon goaltender. Both, the Flyers do not have,” Roenick said. “I think that’s something that you’re going to have to look at in terms of improving your team.”
In his first full season with the Flyers, Mason posted a 33-18-7 record. The goalie also recorded a .917 save percentage, a 2.50 goals against average, and four shutouts in 61 games played.
The Flyers acquired Mason in April of 2013 after sending former backup goalie Michael Leighton and a 2015 third-round pick to Columbus. At the time, Ilya Bryzgalov was the team’s starting goaltender.
After buying out Bryzgalov’s contract, the Flyers added Ray Emery to the mix and created a goalie competition; a competition Mason rightfully won. Earlier this year, the 26-year-old signed a three-year extension worth $12.3 million.
Mason currently holds a 2-6 playoff record for his career with a .907 save percentage and a 3.11 goals against average.
Roenick may not think that Mason is the answer for the Flyers in net, but he seems to believe that Ron Hextall is well suited as the team’s new general manager.
“I think that Ron Hextall’s going to do a great job in that situation,” Roenick said. “I think he’s going to continue that mentality and that Philly mentality that [Paul] Holmgren has brought on, that Craig Berube has brought on as the head coach."
Roenick also believes the team's defense needs to be addressed and retooled.
"I think the game has kind of bypassed the big, strong, burly defenseman that really can’t move too well. And I think the Philadelphia Flyers have been that type of team that put big defensemen back there to protect goaltenders," Roenick said. "This is a game of speed, quickness and transition, and they need more guys that can maneuver and guys that have more agility back there that can carry the play rather than the big strong guys. It’ll be interesting to see how they transition that after Kimmo [Timonen] finishes his career here."
The current salary cap cripples the Flyers when it comes to bolstering their roster. As the Inquirer's Sam Carchidi pointed out earlier this month, the team needs to do some serious maneuvering just to fill out their roster for the upcoming season before even thinking about adding pieces.
"I think it’ll be interesting to see how they deal with those holes that need to be filled," Roenick said, "and filled strongly."