HE'S a Prairie guy who developed a deep affection to Winnipeg.
But Tanner Glass is a Pittsburgh Penguin this morning and sharing a dressing room with the likes of Crosby, Malkin, Fleury and Letang can go a long way to fulfilling a Stanley-Cup dream.
"Our plan was to be in Winnipeg," said Glass in a telephone interview on Sunday after signing a two-year, $2.2 million deal with the Pens. "I'm from Saskatchewan and my family really, really enjoyed it there. You've got a great group playing, the wives and all the people around the team... we made some really good friends. You really develop a sense of community on that team and that made it hard to leave.
"I thought we had a deal done before I went on my trip to India (in April). But talking after I got back the numbers were a lot lower than the market dictated. It took a long time to get anywhere close to where I ended up now.
"A hockey player's career is not very long and I got a taste of (chasing a title) in Vancouver with a really good team. You get close and you realize how hard it is. So when you get a chance to play on an elite team with some of the best players in the world... for me, this is the best fit right now."
Meanwhile, Mason's departure, coupled with the decision of Jonas Gustavsson to sign in Detroit, leaves a gaping hole on the Jets' depth chart behind No. 1 netminder Ondrej Pavelec.
"We were in negotiations with them right up until the last minute," said Jets' GM Kevin Cheveldayoff of contract talks with Mason and Glass. "With Chris, it's an interesting one because we did essentially offer more term and more money. He obviously had something in mind with respect to Nashville after playing there before. Tanner was someone we were very close with as well.
"We'll look at all our options out there right now. We're looking as this as another opportunity to bring someone into our organization that could become a Jet for a long period of time."
The Jets have shown interest in all of their remaining unrestricted free agents other than defenceman Randy Jones. That list includes Kyle Wellwood, Tim Stapleton, Eric Fehr and Mark Flood.
Contract talks with restricted free agents Evander Kane and Spencer Machacek are also continuing.
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