The Chicago Blackhawks yesterday announced the signing of former Washington Capitals goaltender Bob Mason. The Blackhawks also signed free-agent goalie Ed Belfour of the University of North Dakota.

Mason, 26, a free agent without compensation after signing a one-year termination deal last season with Washington, and Belfour, who led North Dakota to the NCAA hockey championship last season, join goalies Murray Bannerman and unsigned Bob Sauve. Chicago finished third in the Norris Division last season, allowing 3.88 goals a game.

Mason, who reportedly signed a four-year contract worth $800,000, was 20-28-3 with a 3.24 goals-against average with the Capitals.

"After having what I considered to have been a good playoff record this past season, I made up my mind to sign with the Hawks because of the great opportunity and challenge, and because Chicago is a great hockey town, much better than Washington," Mason said . . .

Michel Bergeron left the Quebec Nordiques, whom he coached for seven years, to become the fourth New York Rangers coach in seven months.

"I don't feel the least bit insecure coming here," said Bergeron, who replaces Tom Webster. "I know it's tough working in New York, but it was tough working in Quebec, too."

General Manager Phil Esposito said Bergeron was given a multiyear contract, but figures weren't disclosed. For signing Bergeron, who was 253-222-79 at Quebec, the Rangers will give the Nordiques a first-round entry draft choice.