In the hours prior to Saturday’s 12 o’clock p.m. free agency frenzy, speculation has emerged that the New York Rangers will be signing free agent goaltender Ondrej Pavelec. TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported early Saturday morning that he did believe this rumor was true. The deal will be for one season and be worth $1.3 million.
The deal has been confirmed, and Pavelec will indeed head to New York on a one year deal.
Report: Ondrej Pavelec Signs with the New York Rangers
The Rangers were shopping for another back-up goaltender, due to the fact that they traded away Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes as part of last week’s deal to secure the seventh overall pick at the 2017 Entry Draft. The Rangers have found their answer in Pavelec.
Drafted 41st overall in the 2005 National Hockey League Entry Draft by the Atlanta Thrashers (now Winnipeg Jets), Pavelec made his debut during the 2007-08 season. Pavelec has spent all ten of his NHL seasons with the Jets organization, having filled in both the starter roll and the back-up role. He is a veteran goaltender who has seen time in both the regular season and the playoffs.
Pavelec stands at 6’3″ and weighs in at 215 pounds. With the New York Rangers, Pavelec will be filling in Raanta’s role as number two to Henrik Lundqvist. Lundqvist, 35, is aging and because of this, the Rangers coaching staff has decided to play their back-up goalies more. Raanta last season started in 26 games. For Pavelec, this is a big opportunity for him to make a comeback. Last season, he struggled to secure himself as a true go-to starting goaltender for the Jets. But now, he will able to prove himself both to the Rangers management and his new teammates.
Last season, Pavelec only started in eight games, going 4-4-0 with a goals average against of 3.55 and a save percentage of .888. In his career, Pavelec has played in a total of 379 games, starting in 362 of them. He has posted a record of 152-158-47 with a career GAA of 2.87 and a career save percentage of .907 with a total of 17 shutouts. In the playoffs, Pavelec has played in four games, having lost all four. His GAA stands at 3.74 and his save percentage at .891 in those games.
Photo: DALLAS, TX – FEBRUARY 02: Ondrej Pavelec #31 of the Winnipeg Jets blocks a shot on goal against the Dallas Stars in the third period at American Airlines Center on February 2, 2017 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)