The Winnipeg Jets are just counting the days until Ondrej Pavelec's time is up with the team.
The Jets' supposed starting goaltender signed a five-year, $19.5 million contract in 2012, one that the team has done nothing but regret ever since. Pavelec has posted some pedestrian numbers since becoming the starter. With the exception of 2014-15 when Pavelec managed a .920 save percentage while helping the Jets to the postseason, he has limped his way to a record under '.500' and a .907 career save percentage in 371 starts.
Pavelec’s $3.9 million cap hit will expire after the 2016-17 season, much to the delight of nearly every fan in Winnipeg.
With goaltenders Connor Hellebuyck and Michael Hutchinson proving themselves to be stronger options between the pipes, Jets' blog Arctic Ice Hockey is already celebrating the end of Pavelec's time with the team.
This is why we mourn the inevitable loss of goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. May he fall gracefully into goaltender irrelevancy. Like David Aebischer, and not Rick DiPietro.
That is some less than stellar company to be associated with.
It is hard to imagine that Pavelec will be able to land with another NHL team once his contract expires at season's end. In addition, Pavelec has had some off-ice issues including an arrest in the Czech Republic for DUI. What is worse is that Pavelec did not inform the team of the charges he was facing until after he ha signed his big contract in 2012.
The 24-year old was handed a six-month suspended sentence and was ordered not to drive for 20 months.
As for on ice performance, Pavelec has certainly not been playing up to his capabilities, but not all hope is lost. There are technical adjustments that should be attempted by Pavelec like trying to remain in better position instead of always trying to make the 'big' saves. He relies entirely too much on raw talent and needs some fine-tuning.
He has the skill to be a starter in the NHL, but some hard work needs to be done to restore his reputation. Whether he will be able to find work following this season is anybody's guess.