By Carter Brooks
Photos by James Carey Lauder
Early Thursday morning, former longtime Winnipeg Jets netminder, Ondrej Pavelec publicly announced that he has decided to call it a career.
After spending parts of 11 seasons playing professionally in the NHL, the now 31 year old product of Czech Republic has retired third all-time in NHL games played by Czech goaltenders (396).
Pavelec was drafted 44th overall in the second round of the 2005 NHL Entry Draft by the former Atlanta Thrashers. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound tendy suited up for 119 games with the Thrashers, before the franchise moved north to Manitoba in 2011. With the Jets, Pavelec played in 260 regular season games and four postseason contests.
After fulfilling his contract obligations with Winnipeg, Pavelec signed as a free agent with the New York Rangers in the summer of 2017. He served as Henrik Lundqvist's backup on the Rangers, picking up his final four NHL wins in the process.
Pavelec retires from the NHL with a 156-167-48 record to go along with 18 shutouts, a 2.88 goals against average and a .907 save percentage. He also picked up six career assists and 12 penalty minutes over the course of his time in the league.
Never one to shy away from speaking his mind, Pavelec routinely told Winnipeg media that he would quit the game of hockey when it was no longer fun. Apparently he has stumbled upon that point in his life. After going unsigned through mid-September, Pavelec has walked away from the game with upwards of $25 million in career earnings.