Pavelec, Ponikarovsky bolt to Europe

The mass exodus of NHLers continues.

Over the weekend, two members of the Winnipeg Jets — goalie Ondrej Pavelec and winger Alexei Ponikarovsky — wasted no time finding work and signed with European clubs.

The first was Pavelec, who inked with HC Ocelari Trinec of the Czech Extraliga.

Trinec, the 2011 Extraliga champion, currently employs a couple of ex-NHLers, including Radek Bonk — the No. 3 overall pick at the 1994 draft — and Vaclav Varada.

It’s not surprising Pavelec returned to play in his native land, though it will be curious to see how the Jets monitor the situation, given he was charged with a DUI in the Czech Republic during the summer. Just months prior to the DUI charge, Pavelec signed a five-year, $19.5 million deal with Winnipeg.

As for the other Jet heading abroad, Ponikarovsky has inked a deal with Donbass Donetsk of the KHL.

The KHL’s lone representative from Ukraine, Donbass already snapped up another current NHLer (Flyers forward and Ukraine native Ruslan Fedotenko) to go along with its slew of ex-NHLers (Oskars Bartulis, Evgeni Dadonov, Erik Ersberg, Lukas Kaspar, Vaclav Nederost and Karel Pilar.)

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