Various sources this afternoon report the Winnipeg Jets have re-signed goaltender Ondrej Pavelec to a five year, $19.5 million contract, with an average annual cap hit of $3.9 million. Pavelec was due to become a restricted free agent on July 1st, and reportedly was being courted by a KHL team.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Only a few days ago the Jets chances of re-signing Pavelec appeared slim, but GM Kevin Cheveldayoff met with Pavelec’s agent and was able to get a deal worked out over the weekend. It’s very close to the $4 million per season Pavelec was seeking, and perhaps a year longer than expected. It’ll be interesting to see how the dollars are spread around or if this is a straight $3.9 million per season. Pavelec’s critics will complain he’s overpaid, that he hasn’t earned this salary and accuse Cheveldayoff of overpaying, but quite frankly, the Jets GM had little choice. If he traded Pavelec, or lost him to the KHL, he wasn’t going to find a suitable replacement, let alone a better netminder. Time will tell if Pavelec’s worth the money, but at least the Jets head into next season with their starting goalie in the fold.