The 2012 season continues it's downward spiral for Winnipeg Jets' goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.
With a 4-7-3 record, 3.50 GAA and .896 SV%, Bílí Tygři Liberec and Pavelec have decided not to renew the struggling netminders' contract for the remainder of the year, as reported by iSport.cz and translated by SportsNet.ca:
"I had a contract to Nov. 4, and now that I saw that the NHL season could be saved, I think I’ll probably go back to Canada," Pavelec told iSport.cz (translated). He said he also felt bad about taking up a roster spot that could be used to sign another goaltender.
As it stands, Pavelec has no current plans to sign elsewhere. His next step is to convene with his agent Allan Walsh and discuss their next move. It has been reported by Frantisek Suchan of DenikSport that Pavelec may look to sign with Spartak Moscow should the lockout continue to bleed out.
With any translated story, it's difficult to accurately assess who is ending the relationship between these two parties. It's hard to fault Liberec for
looking to terminate choosing not to renew Pavelec's contract. By all accounts he has played porous hockey for the better part of two months -- though slightly better than the teams back-up Marek Pinc. For a team who finished 30-17-0-5 last year, their current pace won't cut it with upper management or their legion of die-hard fans. Pavelec is undoubtedly optimistic given recent meetings between the NHL and NHLPA and will return to Canada in hopes an agreement is soon reached as opposed to re-upping a contract for the remainder of the season, given the uncertainty surrounding labour talks.
On a positive note, Pavelec did post a 0.50 GAA and .984 SV% in international play last week, the only positive tidbit to attach itself to the Czech goaltender since the signing of his new five year contract with the Jets back in June.
Pavelec now joins Tobias Enstrom as the second Winnipeg Jets' player to have their contract terminated (though Enstrom's leave is said to relate to "personal reasons") in the past week. While both players would prefer returning to NHL action in the near future, judging comments made on Sunday by Donald Fehr and Gary Bettman, it doesn't look like either player will be suiting up in Winnipeg's polar blue any time soon.