WINNIPEG - If the Winnipeg Jets are looking for ways to spend some of that mind-boggling profit, Iíve got a suggestion.
How about chaperones for every player during the off-season?
Because as many games as the Jets lost between October and April, they continue to take their lumps in the summers in the public relations department.
And if you donít think that matters to the team, you donít know the Jets and True North Sports and Entertainment.
This is an organization that goes the extra mile when it comes to trying to control the message.
So when news broke Monday of a drunk driving episode involving goalie Ondrej Pavelec, the Jets were scrambling like Dominik Hasek in his prime.
It seems the worst nightmare for pro sports organizations like the Jets these days isnít a thumping at the hands of their fiercest rival, but a scandalous headline the team didnít see coming.
They get so many surprises on the field of play, they donít want any away from it.
A report by Nova Sport TV out of the Czech Republic said Pavelec crashed his BMW into another vehicle stopped at an intersection, then blew 0.2 on a breathalyzer, more than double Manitobaís legal blood-alcohol limit.
Apparently the guyís still absorbing shots as well as he did last season.
The news comes on the heels of hotshot Russian prospect Ivan Telegin slicing open his hand on a fence, apparently, requiring multiple surgeries that forced him to miss last weekís development camp.
And last summer, of course, star defenceman Dustin Byfuglien made headlines with a boating-while-intoxicated charge, which just so happens to be heading to court and more headlines in Minneapolis next week.
Good lord, what do these guys need, 24-hour supervision?
Somebody with common sense telling them what to do, what not to do, every step of their pampered way?
The Jets last week didnít really know what happened to Telegin, and Monday they were equally in the dark about Pavelec.
GM Kevin Cheveldayoff was quoted in a team statement saying the Jets were ďaware of various, yet still inconsistent, Internet reports pertaining to Ondrej Pavelec.
ďWe, as an organization, are attempting to gather more information and until such time as we are comfortable and have a full understanding of the situation, we will not be issuing any further comment.Ē
If this is true, Pavelecís run-in with the red light of the law occurred at the end of May.
Thatís right about the time the Jets were involved in heated negotiations with the 24-year-old and his agent, talks which produced a five-year, $19.5-million contract, announced June 25.
Apparently the little tidbit about a car crash, drunk driving conviction and subsequent 20-month suspension of Pavelecís driverís license didnít make it to the negotiating table, the way his 68 appearances and ability to keep the Jets in games they had no business being in did.
When his agent referenced his record, he no doubt pointed to wins and losses (29-28-9) and kept quiet on the rest.
Assuming he even knew.
Allan Walsh of Octagon Hockey, not normally the shy type, wasnít returning calls, Monday.
Maybe knowing about Pavelecís misadventure would have affected the outcome of the contract talks, maybe it wouldnít.
But from now on maybe the Jets should include a ďdumb summer activityĒ clause.
Players who violate it should be held up to ridicule, not protected.
They could add transgressions to the bios in the media guide: Ondrej Pavelec, catches left, shoots right, blows 0.2.
Is that too much to ask for $19.5 million?