The numbers on Ondrej Pavelec's spiffy new contract will be a hot topic in a business that is all about cap hits, salary ceilings and floors. But while Winnipeg Jets faithful dissect the new deal -- a five-year, $19.5-million pact made official Monday -- the bigger question might be this: Can the 24-year-old Czech morph into a Vezina-calibre goaltender? "I believe he is one of the best young goaltenders in the game right now," said Jets' GM Kevin Cheveldayoff from Hilton Head, S.C. where he is attending American Hockey League meetings. "He's someone that at the minor-league level won a championship and has come in and earned his opportunity to become a No. 1 goaltender at the National Hockey League level. We believe he's going to continue that trend in an upward fashion. "As we grow as a team, we expect Ondrej to grow." All that said, some have argued that evidence of Pavelec's potential star power is more anecdotal right now -- one highlight reel save after another -- than what appears in the black and white of the NHL stats.
Pavelec gets five-year deal, must now bump up game
Winnipeg Free Press | Jun 26