Mercifully, Jets are almost done with Pavelec’s problem contract

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This is part of Jets Day at PHT …

Ondrej Pavelec‘s five-year, $19.5 million contract looked dicey from the moment it was signed in 2012, even before his off-the-ice troubles became public.

It’s been a slog since day one, with Pavelec putting up backup-level numbers for most of his time as the No. 1 goalie of the Winnipeg Jets.

(Somehow, he managed a hot run and a .920 save percentage as Winnipeg made the playoffs in 2014-15, but that proved to be a blip on the radar.)

Pavelec’s situation shows just how long five years can feel when you make a mistake with a goalie. The Arizona Coyotes can probably relate with Mike Smith; not only is a faulty goalie a bad use of assets … it also limits your flexibility in finding a better one.

Mercifully, it seems as though we’re heading for the end of an era of error, as Pavelec’s $3.9 million cap hit will expire after 2016-17.*

With Connor Hellebuyck seemingly ascending and Michael Hutchinson enjoying a contract extension, Jets blog Arctic Ice Hockey is already “eulogizing” Pavelec’s career with Winnipeg.

This is why we mourn the inevitable loss of goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. May he fall gracefully into goaltender irrelevancy. Like David Aebischer, and not Rick DiPietro.

Ouch.

It’s tough to blame Jets fans for being eager to say goodbye. With 371 regular season games under his belt, a record under “.500” and a .907 career save percentage, he’s clearly failed to capitalize on many chances.

Now it’s difficult to imagine him landing with another team, although you never know in the NHL.

The Jets are transitioning power from older faces (trading Andrew Ladd), yet the most promising changes might finally come in net.

Sorry, Pavelec.

* – Assuming they don’t inexplicably re-sign him like Carolina did with Cam Ward.