It was first announced this morning by Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe that Jets’ goalie Ondrej Pavelec has decided to have surgery and will likely miss the remainder of the season, although not officially ruled out by the club. Typical recovery time from such a procedure is 2 to 4 weeks. Last Thursday, Pavelec was close to returning from a slight lower body injury he sustained during the Jets’ contest against the Minnesota Wild. In that game, Pavelec removed himself from the contest, to which Connor Hellebuyck retained the net, and can now be retrospectively seen as a “passing of the torch” as it were. Winnipeg Jets coach Paul Maurice is on record saying that Pavelec passed the on ice portion of IR testing, but Maurice wasn’t pleased with his off ice portion, so Pavs was not inserted into the lineup.
As timelines go, Connor Hellebuyck came into Friday’s match up against the St. Louis Blues and shut them out. Hellebuyck nearly shut out the Avalanche the following night as well, so Pavelec wasn’t likely getting back into the net anytime soon.
Pavelec has been the longest standing goaltender within the Thrashers/ Jets organization, and the only reason I bring this up is that Pavelec is a UFA at the end of this season, and will more than likely not be resigned. Pavelec was selected 41st overall by the Thrashers in 2005, and played during 10 seasons. As stats go, Pavelec made 379 appearances, with a record of 152-158-47 with a 0.907 SV% and 2.87 GAA and 17 shutouts.
A goalie with a reputation for letting in soft goals, Pavelec would sometimes bear down and push through, as seen during the end of the 2014-15 regular season, which the Jets made the playoffs, but lost in the first round to the Anaheim Ducks.
Although he did have an offer with a KHL club, Pavelec resigned with the Winnipeg Jets in 2012 on a five year contract, after which it was learned he had recieved a DUI conviction in the Czech Republic prior to signing the contract. Not being allowed to drive in Manitoba for the duration of his suspension, Pavelec was remorseful in his conviction, and of his decision not to disclose this during his re-negotiation with the Jets was met with criticism of bad faith. However, Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff fought off the criticism and praised Pavelec on his personal growth during this time.
During the Thrashers home opener in 2010, Pavelec collapsed on the ice, in front of his own net, and remained unconscious the entire time medical staff took him off the ice. After undergoing a battery of tests, it was determined that Pavelec simply had a neurocardiogenic syncope episode, otherwise known as a “fainting spell for a unexplained reason”, but also suffered a concussion as his head hit the ice.
Connor Hellebuyck and Micheal Hutchinson will remain the Jets’ goal tending tandem til season’s end.