A report from Nova Sport based in the Czech Republic states that Winnipeg Jets goaltender Ondrej Pavelec rear-ended another car while driving his BMW M6 in his native country. His blood alcohol test resulted in a .20 BAC. The crash, causing $5,000 US in damage, occurred on May 26. No one was injured.
The legal limit in the most of the United States and Canada is .08, while there is zero tolerance in Pavelec’s native Czech Republic. Pavelec attended court and was handed his sentence on Monday, receiving probation and a driving suspension for 20 months. Based on Czech DUI laws, Pavelec was lucky to not end up in jail.
The Jets say they will not comment on the situation until they are finished gathering information surrounding the incident. This most likely means that they did not know about Pavelec’s episode before they signed him to a five-year, $19.5 million contract. This is not the first time the Jets will have to worry about a player being in trouble with the law, as Dustin Byfuglien was booked for boating while intoxicated last summer in Minnesota.
With Pavelec identified by the Jets as one of the parts of their long-term plans, the 24-year-old netminder will have some explaining to do with management. Kevin Cheveldayoff and Co. can’t be happy with these reports in the midst of trying to get Evander Kane signed to a long-term deal.
Even though Pavelec’s actions reflect poorly on the organization, it will be the goalie who will be under the microscope whenever the season begins. Expectations will be high for Pavelec and his big money deal and now the DUI just adds fodder for fan scrutiny.
The Jets will probably handle the situation in-house once they get the full story and Pavelec will probably be privately reprimanded. After that, it will be up to him to redeem himself by saying the right things, performing well and ultimately helping the Winnipeg Jets win hockey games.