Pavelec, 29, is in the final year of a much-maligned five-year, $19.5 million contract. He went 13-13-4 with a .904 save percentage last season. His career NHL save rate is just .907.
There was a hint on Saturday that something like this might be brewing, when Pavelec was not given the start in the Jets’ final preseason game. When all was said and done, Pavelec only made one start in the preseason, compared to three for Hutchinson and two for Hellebuyck.
In an odd twist, Pavelec actually earned a shutout in that lone start, stopping all 31 shots he faced in a 4-0 victory over Calgary last Sunday. For that, he was named the game’s first star.