Canadiens acquire G Mason in 3-player deal with Jets

The Winnipeg Jets traded goalie Steve Mason, forward Joel Armia and a pair of draft picks for defenseman Simon Bourque in a deal with the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

The Jets are giving up a seventh-round draft pick next season and a fourth-round pick in 2020.

Winnipeg GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said earlier this week he was trying to free up cap space as the team looks to re-sign center Paul Stastny, who becomes an unrestricted free agent on Sunday. Stastny, who came over from the St. Louis Blues in a February trade, was a driving force for the Jets in their late-season push and playoff run.

The Jets’ top goalie, Connor Hellebuyck, is also due to become a restricted free agent on Sunday on the heels of a breakout season that saw him go 44-11-9 and finish second in voting for the Vezina Trophy.

The emergence of Hellebuyck made it easier for the club to part with Mason, who has one year left on his deal at $4.1 million.

Mason, 30, went 5-6-1 and posted a 3.24 goals-against average last season. He brings a wealth of experience to the Canadiens, having started 458 career games and being named the league’s top rookie with the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2009. He’s 205-183-64 with a 2.70 GAA in 476 career games.

Armia, 25, played a career-high 79 games last season and finished with 12 goals and 17 assists. He can become a restricted free agent on Sunday.

Bourque, 21, was a sixth-round pick by the Canadiens in 2015. He has excelled in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League but had just three assists in 46 games at the AHL level in 2017-18.

–Field Level Media