On July 1st, the Rangers began their foray into the league-wide unrestricted free agency spending spree by signing former Winnipeg Jets netminder, Ondrej Pavelec. The 29 year-old native of Kladno, Czech Republic replaces fan and team favorite Antti Raanta who provided the Rangers with two solid years back-stopping Henrik Lundqvist. Raanta was included in the Derek Stepan trade with the Arizona Coyotes that left the Rangers with massive holes at the first-line center and backup goaltender positions.
Pavelec comes to the Rangers on a one-year, $1.3 million “show me” contract, and he has a lot to prove. He is fresh off an injury-riddled 2016-2017 season that saw him lose his spot in the Jets lineup and ended with him having knee surgery in March.
Expectations will certainly be high given the fantastic play of his predecessors. He is going to be called upon to play in at least 20 games. Can he win ten of them? Maybe.