Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec was placed on waivers today, per TSN’s Bob McKenzie. The move was first rumored by the Winnipeg Sun’s Ken Wiebe. The move comes as a surprise, but will open the door for goalies Michael Hutchinson and Connor Hellebuyck to grab the starter’s role. Pavelec will have to report to the Manitoba Moose of the AHL.
Pavelec did not have an impressive year last season, posting a .904SV% and a 2.84GAA. He was outplayed by Hellebuyck and on par with Hutchinson. The Czech goalie has struggled to establish himself as a starter throughout his career. Aside from 2014-15 where he posted a .920SV% and a 2.28GAA, his numbers have consistently been among the worst of the NHL’s top 30 starting goalies. Winnipeg likely got tired of his inconsistency and decided to go with younger talent.
Pavelec is in his final year of a $3.9MM contract. It is unclear whether a team is willing to take on that salary at the moment, but early injuries could force a GMs hand. By sending Pavelec down, the Jets saved around $300K in cap space—not that it matters much, as Winnipeg had $9MM freed up before the move.