Tag: Peter Budaj

Penguins Jets Hockey

Jets’ Maurice offers latest vote of confidence for Pavelec


In a league where patience runs out pretty quickly for unsuccessful experiments, the Winnipeg Jets have been sticking with Ondrej Pavelec through thick and thin. (OK, mostly thin.)

Aside from a depth move that may just complicate their backup situation in trading for Peter Budaj, the Jets are standing pat in net, even if Winnipeg’s lack of progress in this area sticks out like a sore thumb.

While it’s not exactly like head coach Paul Maurice has much of a choice, he’s backing up his 27-year-old netminder, as the Winnipeg Free-Press reports.

“The Pav thing… I guess I understand it when you start reading the stats from the last couple of years,” Maurice said.

” … But when I showed up what I saw from the guy, he played pretty darn well in that stretch. He had a .947 (save percentage) in the first 14 games and I couldn’t understand the surprise at it.”

Simply put, Pavelec hasn’t come close to translating that work over a full season, even if his highlight reel saves tend to captivate. His career save percentage (.906) is basically “backup-level” stuff, and it’s not as if he’s winning despite those stats, either (113-125-35 career record).

With a $3.9 million cap hit that doesn’t expire until after the 2016-17 season, the feeling seems to be that the Jets are “stuck” with Pavelec. At least the organization’s getting pretty adept at spinning his struggles, though, right?

Past stories about Pavelec’s struggles

He wasn’t happy with his play (2012-13 edition)

Vote of confidence from GM Kevin Cheveldayoff heading into this offseason

He had a nightmarish time in the 2014 Winter Olympics, too

Under Pressure

Seriously, this has been an issue for ages

Jets waive Budaj one day after trading for him

Peter Budaj

Well, here’s an interesting move.

Roughly 24 hours after acquiring Peter Budaj from Montreal, the Winnipeg Jets placed the veteran goalie on waivers.

The Jets didn’t give up much to get Budaj — Eric Tangradi, who they’d previously waived anyway — but the decision to subject Budaj to waivers is a bit of a surprise. Many thought the 32-year-old would shore up Winnipeg’s dicey goaltending situation; No. 1 Ondrej Pavelec has some major question marks coming into this season and his projected backup, Michael Hutchinson, has all of three games of NHL experience and looked shaky at times this preseason.

That said, Hutchinson was also required to clear waivers and it seems GM Kevin Cheveldayoff thought exposing Budaj was the safer bet.

Habs deal Budaj to Jets for Tangradi

Jesse Winchester,  Peter Budaj

The Montreal Canadiens solved their goaltending dilemma Sunday dealing Peter Budaj to the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for Eric Tangradi.

Winnipeg also picked up Patrick Holland in the deal.

Budaj, 32, has spent nine seasons in the NHL with the Avalanche and Canadiens. In 296 career games, he is 124-107-36 with a 2.76 GAA and a, .903 save percentage to go along with 11 career shutouts.

Originally a sixth round pick of the Avs, Budaj had a 10-8-3 record last season backing up Carey Price, but fell out of of favor with the club as prospect Dustin Tokarski started over him in the playoffs when Price was injured.

“I would like to thank Peter Budaj who has been an outstanding teammate and stood tall for us over the past three seasons,” said GM Marc Bergevin in a statement. “This transaction enables our team to make room for Dustin Tokarski.”

As TVA’s Renaud Lavoie points out, the Habs save $838,000 with Tokaraski as the team’s backup over Budaj.

Both Budaj and Tokarski would’ve required waivers, so you can see why the trade was made.

Budaj provides Winnipeg with a solid No. 2 to push starter Ondrej Pavelec. Prior to the deal, the Jets had rookie Michael Hutchinson backing up Pavelec. Hutchinson has just three career NHL games on his resume.

Holland has spent the last two seasons with the American Hockey League’s Hamilton Bulldogs. Last season the 22-year-old had six goals and 17 points in 57 games. He also appeared in five games for the Canadiens where he was held without a point. Holland will likely report to the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps.

Tangradi, who cleared waivers on Saturday, will be assigned to the Bulldogs. The 25-year-old spent the last two seasons with the Jets where he scored four goals and 10 points in 91 games. Originally an Anaheim Ducks second round pick, Tangradi also appeared in 45 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins over four seasons.

“Eric Tangradi is a young veteran with 136 NHL games under his belt. He adds depth to our group up front and provides us with more options when we will need help coming from our affiliate team in Hamilton,” said Bergevin.

Jets trim roster

In a separate transaction the Jets released six players Sunday.

Ben Chiarot and Keaton Ellerby were placed on waivers while goaltender goaltender Danny Taylor was released from his professional tryout.

Winnipeg also sent Nikolaj Ehlers, Josh Morrissey and Nic Petan back to their respective junior clubs.