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Addressing the Ondrej Pavelec to the KHL rumors

On a special Wednesday edition of the Illegal Curve Hockey Show, Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada and TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger came on to discuss the rumors surrounding Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.

The Illegal Curve Hockey Show aired at a special time of 4pm-6pm on Wednesday, June 20 in place of Hustler & Lawless. With the NHL Draft approaching, a majority of the show was discussing the current rumors and speculation surrounding the Jets. The following quotes are transcribed and paraphrased from the latest episode available at To listen to the full show, you can download it directly at or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

A week and a half ago Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada reported that a KHL team is interested in signing the Winnipeg Jets goaltender.

On Wednesday’s Illegal Curve Hockey Show, Friedman came on the program to discuss the speculation surrounding Ondrej Pavelec:

My belief is that Ondrej Pavelec wants to play in the NHL. I think most good players want that. They want to play against the best. Most guys who go to the KHL are either unhappy, or they can’t find a job that they really want in North America. The fact is, and I really do believe this, most of the best players, want to play against the best players. I think that Ondrej Pavelec wants to play in the NHL. Guys who know Pavelec better than I do, say that he likes Winnipeg, which is a very good sign for your city.

I think that he believes that he was the MVP of the team last year, and he wants to be paid as part of that. Now we’re in the negotiation. I would guess that the fact that he had a KHL offer get out (to the public), (is) because he was not happy with what the Jets initially offered him. I think that’s what it comes down to guys. Now we’re in the dance, and the Winnipeg Jets and Ondrej Pavelec are in the high noon phase where the two gun fighters are circling each other, sizing each other up and saying, “what is really going to happen here”.

I do think this; I think that if Pavelec doesn’t get an offer he likes, the more likely the KHL becomes real. Right now it’s a bit of a tactic, but I think with a European player especially, if he doesn’t get what he thinks is a fair offer from the Jets, the likelihood (of going to the KHL) increases, especially if he believes there is going to be a lockout at the beginning of the next year then the KHL becomes a factor.”

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger was also a guest on the program and had this to say about the rumours surrounding Pavelec.

“I think that you have to look at the likely scenarios, you cannot exclude playing in the KHL as a likely scenario. He’s been offered a big chunk of change. Speculation puts it as upwards of five, or five and a half million dollars for one season. That’s a boatload of money, particularly when you are looking at an interrupted season because of the CBA.

I don’t see the Jets trading Ondrej Pavelec, there’s always that give and take, that back and forth in any negotiation. Because he’s a restricted free agent, obviously the Winnipeg Jets maintain his rights. On that vein, they’re entitled to negotiate in any way shape or form they choose. But, the agent in this case, also has an obligation to make sure all of the options are put on the table for his client. His client now has some leverage, maybe the Jets will call his bluff, maybe they’ll say, “Alright you want to go to the KHL for a year, go ahead, but we maintain your rights and we’ll deal with you at a later date.” (There’s) still a lot of time in this negotiation, before there’s any sense of direction or finality to the future in Winnipeg.”

The entire interviews are available here at Illegal Curve, or subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

The Illegal Curve Hockey Show airs Saturdays from noon to 3pm on TSN Radio 1290