If you watched the Jets play last season, it was quite apparent that Pavelec was the team’s most valuable player and alleviated any doubts he is a bona fide, No. 1 NHL goalie.
Sure, there are detractors out there that will tell you Pavelec posted mediocre statistics in several important categories like goals against average and save percentage.
To them, we counter by suggesting the Jets’ collectively need improvement in their own zone and then, those numbers will improve.
Complicating matters somewhat is the suggestion Pavelec is mulling over a substantial one-year offer from SKA St. Petersburg, a team in the Kontinental Hockey League.
The offer from the KHL is a viable option, but when was the last time a starting goalie entering his prime in the NHL bolted to play overseas instead?
The Jets clearly believe that Pavelec is the type of goalie that can help them have success and lead them on a playoff run, once they get to that point.
Not that it’s a guarantee for success at the next level but Pavelec backstopped the Chicago Wolves to a Calder Cup title when Cheveldayoff was their GM, so he’s seen him come through when the chips are down.
So what is the fair market value for Pavelec?
This is likely what has these negotiations at an impasse.
Darren Dreger of TSN suggested Tuesday that it could take roughly $4 million per season on a multi-year deal to find common ground, causing folks on twitter to weigh in with various takes and generally causing consternation among the Jets’ faithful.
What can’t be argued is that the Jets lone goalie under contract for the 2012-13 season as of right now is Eddie Pasquale and he’s best served by another year with the St. John’s IceCaps of the American Hockey League.
Some will say Pavelec has never won a playoff series.
Good point, but Nashville Predators goalie and Vezina candidate Pekka Rinne has won a grand total of two series and he’s about to start a new contract that will pay him seven million per over the next seven seasons.
On the flip side, Los Angeles Kings netminder Jonathan Quick just backstopped the franchise to their first Stanley Cup for the bargain price of $1.8 million.
Fair enough, but his contract expires at the end of next season and will be looking for Rinne-esque money (deservedly so).
By looking at a sample of NHL starters (see box S11), you’ll see that a deal in the range of four or five years for around $4 million per season just might be palatable for both sides.
Initially, the number might seem high based on the track record, but in the big picture, if Pavelec continues to improve, that number might feel like a steal near the end of the contract.
Give and take is at the essence of all negotiations and by getting a long-term deal done, the Jets would secure a cornerstone for the foreseeable future and Pavelec receives the security he’s seeking.
In the end, everybody wins.
What some other goalies will make this coming season:
Pekka Rinne, Nashville, $7 million
43 wins, 2.39 GAA, .923 SV.%, 5 SO
Henrik Lundqvist, NY Rangers, $6.875 million
39 wins, 1.97 GAA, .930 SV.%, 8 SO
Ilya Bryzgalov, Philadelphia, $5.667 million
33 wins, 2.48 GAA, .909 SV.%, 6 SO
Roberto Luongo, Vancouver, $5.333 million
31 wins, 2.41 GAA, .919 SV.%, 5 SO
Jonas Hiller, Anaheim, $4.5 million
29 wins, 2.57 GAA, .910 SV. %, 4 SO
Rick DiPietro, NY Islanders, $4.5 million
3 wins, 3.73 GAA, .876 SV.%, 0 SO
Antti Niemi, San Jose, $3.8 million
34 wins, 2.42 GAA, .915 SV.%, 6 SO
Nikolai Khabibulin, Edmonton, $3.75 million
12 wins, 2.65 GAA, .910 SV.%, 2 SO
Jaroslav Halak, St. Louis, $3.75 million
26 wins, 1.97 GAA, .926 SV.%, 6 SO
Kari Lehtonen, Dallas, $3.55 million
32 wins, 2.33 GAA, .922 SV.%, 4 SO
Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles, $1.8 million
35 wins, 1.95 GAA, .929 SV.%, 10 SO
Ondrej Pavelec, Winnipeg, RFA
29 wins, 2.91 GAA, .906 SV.%, 4 SO
Other goalies in the Jets Organization:
Chris Mason, NHL
8 wins, 2.59 GAA, .906 SV%, 0 SO
Christopher Carrozzi, AHL
1 win, 3.50 GAA, .877 SV%, 0 SO
David Aebischer, AHL
15 wins, 2.86 GAA, 895 SV%, 1 SO
Edward Pasquale, AHL
23 wins, 2.41 GAA, .911 SV%, 4 SO