September 20, 2018 2:28 pm
Updated: September 20, 2018 2:29 pm

Former Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec retires

Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec (31) stretches out to stop a shot by Minnesota Wild's Jason Zucker (not shown). Tuesday, February 7, 2017.

Trevor Hagan / The Canadian Press

Former Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec is hanging up the pads for good.

Pavelec announced his retirement on Thursday. He was an unrestricted free agent after playing for the New York Rangers last season.

In a statement released by his agent Allan Walsh, Pavelec thanked the Jets, his teammates and the “amazing fans” in Winnipeg and New York.

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Pavelec is just 31, but hauled in more than $25 million over the span of his 11-year NHL career. After being drafted by the Atlanta Thrashers in 2005, Pavelec spent six seasons with the Jets before heading to the Big Apple as a free agent last year.

He was often a lightning rod for criticism during his time with the Jets, but played a big role in helping them to their first ever playoff berth back in 2015.

That was his most successful season with the club where he posted 22 wins in 50 games with a career best 2.28 goals against average. He played a total of 383 games for the Jets and posted 111 wins. He eventually lost his starting job and spent much of his final season in the organization in the AHL with the Manitoba Moose.

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