Wild’s Ennis, Canadiens’ Mason on buyout waivers

Minnesota Wild's Tyler Ennis, right, is checked by Calgary Flames' Troy Brouwer during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

The Minnesota Wild placed forward Tyler Ennis on unconditional waivers to buy out his contract and free up salary-cap space on the eve of free agency.

A person with direct knowledge of the move told The Associated Press on Saturday that Ennis and newly acquired Montreal Canadiens goaltender Steve Mason were put on buyout waivers at noon. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the transactions had not been announced.

Minnesota saves more than $2.4 million against the $79.5 million salary cap next season by buying out the final year of Ennis’ contract. The 28-year-old, who was due to make $3.65 million and count $4.6 million on the salary cap, had 22 points in 73 games with the Wild after being acquired from Buffalo a year ago.

Ennis has 258 points in 492 games and could be a value free agent addition for a team looking for depth down the middle.

Mason was not long for Montreal after the Canadiens acquired the 30-year-old goaltender in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets earlier Saturday. The Canadiens used their abundance of salary-cap space to take on Mason’s contract and acquire young Finnish forward Joel Armia.

Montreal will have a cap hit of just under $1.4 million over the next two seasons for Mason, who becomes an unrestricted free agent. He will be an option for teams looking for a backup goaltender or someone to share the load, like Boston and Carolina.

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