Jay’s Take: Pavlec wouldn’t be the first and certainly not the last player to leave the NHL for the KHL (the KHL loves to try to poach NHL talent even though they are an inferior league). and in some ways it makes sense. At 24, Pavelec can play a couple of years in Russia and make big money, then return to the NHL when he’s entering his prime and go to any team he chooses (once his restricted years with Winnipeg have passed). Given the fact I love the Jets I hope he decides to stay in the Winnipeg. Pavelec is a very underrated goalie who is only going to get better. There’s no doubt in my mind the Jets would match any NHL offer to keep him in Winnipeg (there’s no way they will pay him what the KHL can). Should he decide to leave it would be a huge blow to the Jets. Given the lack of available goalies and trying to make a trade for a guy like Jonathan Bernier would cost a king’s ransom (no pun intended), the Jets would be stuck with Chris Mason and Peter Mannino between the pipes. That wouldn’t bode well for a Jets team that is looking to establish themselves as a serious contender.
This is currently just a rumor, and while it’s likely the KHL would indeed be interested in a guy like Pavleec, who knows how much legs this story actually has. I think once he looks at the big picture and realizes while the KHL will back up the Brinks truck for him to go to Russia he’ll see that tougher competition will enhance his development and outweigh the $$$ the KHL would offer. From there he’ll sign a long-term deal with the Jets.
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