Aug 22, 2013, 11:08 PM EDT
Despite middling results, the Winnipeg Jets have spent quite a bit of money over the last few summers to keep its core intact.
Critics might claim that Ondrej Pavelec‘s five-year, $19.5 million deal (expiring in 2016-17) represents the worst example of that strategy. On the other hand, his proponents point to acrobatic saves, a mediocre supporting cast and the fact that he’s just 25 as reasons why he can still be a franchise goalie.
Both sides would likely agree that he has a lot to prove, though, and the 2013-14 season would be an ideal time to start.
Simply put, Pavelec has the resume of a mediocre goalie. You could argue that his .907 career save percentage even screams “NHL backup.”
(For example: Dallas Stars backup Dan Ellis boasts a career .908 mark, although he’s five years older and hasn’t played in as many games.)
Those who judge a goalie by wins probably won’t be making a strong argument for Pavelec, either. He’s amassed an unsightly 91-99-28 career record to go along with iffy individual stats.
The go-to guy
It’s debatable whether teams are really wise to give one goalie the obvious starting job – particularly one who hasn’t really distinguished himself in a significant way – but the bottom line is that the Jets are putting all their eggs in the Pavelec basket.
Pavelec is being backed up by Al Montoya instead of Chris Mason next season. While Montoya is younger than Mason, it’s tough to imagine him pushing Pavelec all that much.
(Really, if he does, it might be a troubling sign instead of a welcome increase in pressure.)
Ultimately, the Jets are likely hoping that Pavelec can just “figure it out.” Either that, or they hope that the team can lift his numbers as they improve around him.
Stranger things have happened, but many doubt that a breakthrough season is on the horizon for Winnipeg’s franchise goalie.
More Jets day at PHT
- WATCH LIVE: Today’s Stanley Cup playoff action 2
- Crosby joining Team Canada at Worlds 13
- Here’s your Stanley Cup playoff TV schedule for today 12
- One more time, with feeling: Flames stage yet another comeback, eliminate Vancouver 24
- Keith conquers: Blackhawks come back, eliminate Predators 49
- Red Wings smother Lightning, take 3-2 series lead 22
- Going the distance: Isles edge Caps to force Game 7 42
- WATCH LIVE: Today’s Stanley Cup playoff action 6
- Lucic issues statement on father’s passing 10
- Hall caught off guard by Oilers’ front office shuffle 19
- Too little, too late: Rangers stifle Penguins for 2-1 series lead (114)
- It’s Done: Rangers eliminate Penguins in overtime (108)
- Bettman under fire after saying ‘Katy Perry’ chant wasn’t sexist (92)
- Okposo blasts ‘idiot’ Wilson after physical outing versus Isles (82)
- Preds, Forsberg finally solve Darling, push series to Game 6 (76)