Winnipeg Jets Lock Up Ondrej Pavelec for Five Years

Anthony CapocciContributor IJune 25, 2012

MONTREAL, CANADA - FEBRUARY 5:  Ondrej Pavelec #31 of the Winnipeg Jets watches play during the NHL game against the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre on February 5, 2012 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.  The Canadiens defeated the Jets 3-0.  (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)
Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images

The Winnipeg Jets re-signed netminder Ondrej Pavelec to a five-year deal worth $19.5 million, an annual cap hit of $3.9 million per year according to Bob McKenzie of TSN.

Early reports a few weeks ago rumored Pavelec to have a "big money" contract offer from a KHL team on the table. Pavelec, who will turn 25 in August, is coming off of the best season of his young career posting a career-high of 29 wins.



The RFA netminder agreed to terms with the Jets this afternoon for what should be five more years of starting in front of a crowd that loves him, as well as continuing to develop into an elite goaltender.

The Jets acquired the rights of Jonas "The Monster" Gustavsson on day two of the NHL draft, which may have had Pavelec thinking about the situation during these past few days. Pavelec may have signed faster out of fear of the Jets potentially moving on without him.

Regardless of whether or not the situation with the KHL was real, it's great to have the up-and-coming star back for five more seasons.

This move does wonders for the Jets franchise. Their rebuilding process can continue without any bumps in the road. It's probably most important to build from the net out, and the Jets have that piece.

Chris Mason, the Jets UFA backup goalie, is probably on his way out. If the Jets can get Gustavsson re-signed, expect a tandem of Pavelec and Gustavsson, with Pavelec getting at least 75 percent of the starts.