Winnipeg’s Roster Analysis Part IV: Goaltending

Posted by Richard Pollock in Columns,Features,Illegal Curve News,Jets Columns,Roster Analysis,Winnipeg Jets on June 1, 2011 — No Comments

Part IV. Goaltending

Winnipeg has two netminders signed for next season in Ondrej Pavelec and Chris Mason.  These two netminders form a nice one-two punch in terms of age, Pavelec being 23 and Mason being 35.

Here are the two netminders’ important statistics from last season:

Goaltender Games Played Save Percentage Even Strength Save Percentage Overall NHL rank for Even Strength Save Percentage (minimum 20 games played) Cap hit
Pavelec 58 .914 .928 13th $1.15 million
Mason 33 .892 9.02 46th $1.85 million

As you can tell, Winnipeg has a total of $3.00 million locked up in their two netminders, both of whom are pending free agents after next season; Pavelec a restricted free agent and Mason an unrestricted free agent.

That type of cap flexibility is an asset for Winnipeg management moving forward, especially because it allows the organization one more season to evaluate Pavelec and to determine if his very solid numbers from the 2010/11 season are indeed an accurate reflection of his talent level.

It should not be understated, however, how much the influence of Mason’s veteran presence should help the youngster moving forward.  There were some rumblings from Atlanta that management wanted Pavelec in better condition last season and thought some issues in that respect contributed to Pavelec’s struggles at times.  Mason is a respected veteran in the room, has a solid track record with a career save percentage of .911 and can play a significant portion of games so as to not wear down the Czech youngster.

Taking into account the money tied up on defense, the amount of cap flexibility for the team in between the pipes is a refreshing reality for fans and management alike.  Pavelec and Mason should form a tandem that is likely to provide value, which is going to be optimal to the success of this franchise.

Part V of the analysis will look at Free Agent Forwards, the current Cap Situation and the team Moving Forward.