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Jets GM says Pavelec will be the No. 1 goalie next season

Apr 16, 2014, 3:05 PM EDT

Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff met the media today in the wake of another disappointing regular season. The club’s Twitter account picked up a couple of key quotes from the press conference:

Our take: We’ll believe it when we see it. Pavelec struggled again this season, finishing 22-26-7 with a .901 save percentage. Goaltending has been a weakness for the Jets since they moved to Winnipeg, and Pavelec has been the No. 1 the whole time. It’s possible management still has confidence in Pavelec and believes the team’s play in front of him is the major reason for his below-average numbers. But it’s also possible the team is just stuck with him. Pavelec is signed through 2016-17 for a cap hit of $3.9 million.

Our take: Expect to hear Dustin Byfuglien‘s name floated in trade rumors this summer. The Jets are plenty deep on the back end, and coach Paul Maurice already said Byfuglien will be a forward next season, despite the player’s preference to remain a defenseman. Beyond Byfuglien, the Evander Kane situation is obviously worth watching. Clearly, there’s some tension there. Whether it’s become an untenable relationship is the question.

Related: Jets sign coach Paul Maurice to four-year extension

  1. rbbbaron - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    “it’s also possible the team is just stuck with him”
    I don’t know why else they’d insist on playing the guy

  2. govtminion - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:22 PM

    “We’re content to continue with our mediocrity next season, in which we don’t get high draft picks but don’t make the playoffs either. We think Ondrej is a big step in that direction. Stay the course!”

    • 19inarow - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      Very well put.

  3. terrier92 - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:26 PM

    You cant win with a mediocre goaltender and this guy is mediocre.

  4. c9castine - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    OK so how does the coach feel? He is the guy who SHOULD have the say on who starts on a regular basis.

  5. charlieconway96 - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    My heart goes out to you Winnipeg.

  6. pavelfitzgerald - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:40 PM

    What else can Chevy say?

    “Yeah Pavelec sucks & we don’t want him”

    That takes away any leverage in trade talks or their ability to try to acquire a goaltender via trade (i.e. Reimer from Toronto). I think Chevy’s trying to hold his cards close to his vest, or at least that’s what I tell myself as a Jets fan lol.

    • rbbbaron - Apr 16, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      Trade? Who wants a backup goalie eating 3.9mil worth of cap space on their club? (Maybe the Isles, if they’re having trouble making the cap floor?)

      • pavelfitzgerald - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        I worded that poorly, I meant that it hurts Chevy’s ability to trade for another goalie.

        i.e. “I can hold out for more from the Jets because they said they want to bring in competition for Pavelec”

        as opposed to …

        “Maybe Chevy’s crazy enough to keep that mediocre goalie & this is the best deal we can get from them”

        The difference may be small or nil but it could be a difference none the less. As a Jets fan though I really, really, really, really hope he does not come back as the starter or on that contract at all for that matter.

  7. runhigh24 - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    If saying Pavelec is your starting goaltender isn’t code for “we’re tanking for Connor McDavid” then I don’t know what is.

  8. djshnooks - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:46 PM

    Evander Kane will be a Sabre by July.

  9. prd797 - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    The Jets will never win anything of importance with Pavelec in net. I don’t think Chevy is stupid enough to think otherwise, but there is not much that he can say to the contrary at this point. He’s the one who signed Ondrej to his overpaid contract, after all.

    So many things can change in between this apparent ‘vote of confidence’ and the start of next season. I would not be remotely surprised if Chevy tries to include Pavelec in any and every trade conversation he has until the next season starts.

  10. lostpuppysyndrome - Apr 17, 2014 at 12:16 AM

    Does anyone know where to find his stats under Noel and Maurice? I’m curious to know if there’s a significant difference.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1705)
  2. P. Kessel (1658)
  3. M. Richards (1407)
  4. P. Datsyuk (1248)
  5. N. Backstrom (1134)