Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pavelec Passes On AHL

I can only imagine how the conversation between Atlanta Thrashers G.M. and prospect goaltender Ondrej Pavelec (pictured above courtesy of The Hockey News) went.

DW: Ondrej, we're sending you to Chicago (their AHL team)

OP: @##@#$#$#@##@#@...(followed by the table being flipped over, a phone or chair thrown and the door slamming?????)

Okay, so Pavelec probably didn't go Hal McRae on Waddell:

But the 21 year old obviously isn't happy about being sent down to the minors. According to Sporting News Pavelec has refused his assignment to the AHL.

The 2nd round pick from 2005 says the Thrashers haven't given him a fair chance like they said they would, and when you look at the pre season stats, it's hard to argue with him. The Czech Republic pipeman, is the only Atlanta goalie with a win in the pre season. Now the Thrashers aren't going to bump him ahead of Kari Lehtonen, whom they drafted 2nd overall in 2002, just because Pavelec had a better exhibition season, but when Johan Hedberg's goals against average is 9.00, you can see the Pavelec camp's frustration.

Obviously it has something to do with contract status, Hedberg and Lehtonen are likely on 1 way deals, and Pavelec is on a 2 way contract.

Pavelec doesn't have anything to prove in the AHL, he led the Wolves to a Calder Cup last year, while posting a record of 33-16, a 2.77 GAA and a save percentage of .911.

If the Thrashers aren't careful, they may lose a prized prospect to the KHL, as there will be teams willing to pay him big bucks to backstop them in Russia.

If I'm Atlanta, I'm either dealing Pavelec and getting something for him before he jumps a plane to Russia, or making room for him by either trading or demoting Hedberg.

One other prospect note, the Flames have sent 2007 first rounder Mikael Backlund back to Sweden. Not a surprise here, Calgary was pretty set in their top 9, and Backlund was about to play a 4th line checking role.

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