Jets GM says Pavelec will be the No. 1 goalie next season
Winnipeg Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff met the media today in the wake of another disappointing regular season. The club’s Twitter account picked up a couple of key quotes from the press conference:
"Yes. Ondrej Pavelec is the number one goaltender going into next season." -Cheveldayoff.— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) April 16, 2014
Our take: We’ll believe it when we see it. Pavelec struggled again this season, finishing 22-26-7 with a .901 save percentage. Goaltending has been a weakness for the Jets since they moved to Winnipeg, and Pavelec has been the No. 1 the whole time. It’s possible management still has confidence in Pavelec and believes the team’s play in front of him is the major reason for his below-average numbers. But it’s also possible the team is just stuck with him. Pavelec is signed through 2016-17 for a cap hit of $3.9 million.
"We still believe there's room for us to improve at forward... Some of it might have to come from a trade." - Chevy— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) April 16, 2014
Our take: Expect to hear Dustin Byfuglien’s name floated in trade rumors this summer. The Jets are plenty deep on the back end, and coach Paul Maurice already said Byfuglien will be a forward next season, despite the player’s preference to remain a defenseman. Beyond Byfuglien, the Evander Kane situation is obviously worth watching. Clearly, there’s some tension there. Whether it’s become an untenable relationship is the question.