Washington Capitals goalie Bob Mason, who started and ended the 1989-90 season in the minors, playing 16 NHL games in between, will have June to shop around the league for a team in more need of his services.

Mason signed a two-year deal with the Capitals last summer (1990-91 season being the option year), but through the final months of the regular season it became clear that he was not in the forefront of the Capitals' plans. General Manager David Poile yesterday offered a one-year termination contract that Mason can sign at the end of June if he does not find a better deal.

"Right now, our goaltenders will be Don Beaupre and Mike Liut, and Bob knows that," said Poile, who must re-sign Beaupre, a free agent. "If someone feels {Bob} has a chance to help him, it might be a better opportunity to move on. If not, then he's a good guy for depth."

Mason, 29, played just four games after Terry Murray took over as coach on Jan. 15. In all, Mason was 4-9-1 (3.50 goals-against average) with the Capitals and 9-2-1 (3.44) with the Baltimore Skipjacks.

"I certainly knew they didn't have plans for me, with the limited ice time and then when they traded for Liut" on March 5, Mason said yesterday. "It was a tough situation all the way around."

After the completion of a termination contract, a player can sign with another team without compensation. Defenseman Scot Kleinendorst, 30, just completed one this season, during which he had knee surgery and played only 15 games in three months once he recovered.

"I don't know anyone that can play that many games stretched over that length of time and play with confidence and at the top of their game," Kleinendorst said yesterday, adding that other than the lack of playing time, he enjoyed being with the organization.

Poile is not offering a contract now but they will stay in touch and see where they stand later in the summer.

Doug Wickenheiser, 29, who ended the season in Baltimore after playing 35 games with the Capitals, will not be offered a new contract, Poile said. Two minor league defensemen, Brian Tutt (seven games with the Capitals) and Dennis Smith (four), will be offered termination contracts.