Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Pavs joins Finnish cellar-dweller

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ONDREJ Pavelec's European adventure will feature another chapter.

Allan Walsh, the agent for the Winnipeg Jets' goaltender, has confirmed that Pavelec has signed a six-game contract with the Lahti Pelicans of the Finnish SM-Liiga. He could be in their lineup as early as today against defending Finnish champion Jyvaskyla.

Lahti is second-last in the league, 13th overall.

It was initially believed Pavelec would return to North America after his contract with HC Liberec Tigers of the Czech Extraliga expired earlier this month -- either to Winnipeg or to Montreal, where he had been training before initially heading overseas.

Pavelec posted sub-par numbers with Liberec (a 3.50 goals-against average and .896 save percentage) but the 25-year-old did help the Czech Republic win the recent Karjala Cup, posting a 1-0 win over Finland and a 2-1 victory over Russia. Pavelec stopped 64 of the 65 shots he faced in the event.

Pavelec signed a new five-year, $19.5-million deal with the Jets in late June. Less than a month later it was revealed Pavelec had been convicted of drunk driving after a car crash in his native Czech Republic -- which took place before he re-signed and one which Jets management was not aware of when the deal was struck.

-- Tait

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 27, 2012 D2

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