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Paul Maurice back with Jets next season; alas, so is Ondrej Pavelec

Greg Wyshynski
Puck Daddy
Phoenix Coyotes' Radim Vrbata (17), of the Czech Republic, gets his shot knocked away by Winnipeg Jets' Ondrej Pavelec (31), of the Czech Republic, during the shootout of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. The Jets defeated the Coyotes 2-1
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Phoenix Coyotes' Radim Vrbata (17), of the Czech Republic, gets his shot knocked away by Winnipeg Jets' Ondrej Pavelec (31), of the Czech Republic, during the shootout of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in Glendale, Ariz. The Jets defeated the Coyotes 2-1. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Paul Maurice has signed a 4-year deal with the Winnipeg Jets to remain their head coach, which is good news for both.

Maurice works well with young players and preaches an up-tempo style that you need to play to thrive in the Western Conference. Plus, the idea that the Jets would have three coaches in two seasons does not make for consistency.

So that’s good news.

Less than good: GM Kevin Cheveldayoff said that Ondrej Pavelec will also return next season.

"Ondrej Pavelec is our No. 1 goalie next season,” he said at Wednesday’s press conference, via Illegal Curve. When asked if he felt the beleaguered goalie was holding the team back, he responded, "No one person on this team is greater than the sum of its parts."

That’s actually correct, because Pavelec is worse than the sum of the Jets’ parts.

His .908 save percentage at even strength is the worst in the NHL for goalies that faced a minimum of 1,000 shots on goal this season. And before you’re like, “well, maybe the Jets are just atrocious at even strength,” keep in mind backup Al Montoya had an EV SV% of .925.

Pavelec’s save percentage has fallen in each of the last three seasons. He’s shown maybe a glimmer of potential once out of every 10 games; otherwise, he rightfully wears the dunce cap as the worst starting goalie in the National Hockey League.

And yet he’ll enter 2014-15 as the incumbent No. 1 starter.

Maybe Cheveldayoff’s hands are tied by Pavelec’s contract, which runs through 2017 with a cap hit of $3.9 million. Is he untradeable? Does ownership refuse to buy him out?

Or maybe Cheveldayoff is just a devious genius, knowing that 60 starts for Ondrej Pavelec is 60 games closer to drafting Connor McDavid …

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