Winnipeg’s Pavelec faces plenty of doubters


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.

Paltry numbers

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

Is time for Trouba, Scheifele to step up?

Winnipeg pays big to maintain core

Kings grab goalie insurance by signing Budaj

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 22: Jhonas Enroth #1 and Peter Budaj #31 of the Los Angeles Kings stretch before a game against the Arizona Coyotes at STAPLES Center on September 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images)
via Los Angeles Kings
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In slightly less interesting Los Angeles Kings news than the latest in the Mike Richards fiasco, the team handed Peter Budaj a one-year, two-way deal on Friday.

The veteran goalie’s contract pays $575K on the NHL level and $100K in the AHL (though it’s $150K guaranteed), according to Hockey’s Cap.

At the moment, it sounds like Budaj will be third on the Kings’ goalie depth chart. That says as much about how things have been going lately for Los Angeles than Budaj’s work on a PTO.

As noted above, one of the more significant moves in Budaj’s favor came when the New York Islanders claimed Jean-Francois Berube off of waivers this week.

The Kings actually waived Budaj before signing him, so this has to be a relief to a goalie with a fairly robust resume as a backup.

All apologies to Budaj, but it’s probably true that the Kings would prefer not to see him at the NHL level very often in 2015-16.

Kings, NHLPA announce settlement in Richards grievance

Los Angeles Kings v New York Rangers

The Los Angeles Kings announced today that they have “reached an agreement with Mike Richards to resolve the grievance filed in relation to the termination of his NHL Standard Players Contract. The terms are agreeable to all parties.”

The club said that it will not be commenting further “on the terms” of the settlement.

The NHLPA released a similar statement.

It was reported earlier in the week that a settlement was close to being reached; however, it wasn’t clear what salary-cap penalties the Kings would incur.

We’re starting to find out some details now:

How the final numbers differ from what the Kings would have incurred if they’d bought Richards out will be interesting to see. And if there are differences, how will they be justified?

Stay tuned.