Pavelec was charged with a DUI. That's a problem if you're the Jets' management. But it's not the biggest problem in this whole story. No, the problem is that the accident occurred on May 26! As you may recall, the Jets had not yet started to negotiate with their goaltender by that point, so, naturally, Pavelec did what any young man would when faced with the grim reality that the organization who wants to make him a millionaire needs to know about something like this. Pavelec kept his mouth shut.
One month later, Pavelec signed the richest contract of his life, and everything looked rosy. Except for that looming court date regarding his DUI charge. Y'know, the one he told exactly no one about. That one.
So while Pavelec's agent went about securing a pile of money for his client, Pavelec seemingly told no one about the DUI charge. I'm not even sure his agent knew, but, if he did, you'd think that the Jets may have a few complaints regarding his behavior. Regardless, Pavelec kept something as serious as a DUI charge hidden from his employers.
Translating from AHA! Online, an article from today reads, "Ondrej Pavelec said that it was a residual alcohol. But he managed to secure misjudged the distance and caused an accident in which damage was 100,000 crowns on each car." Now it may seem like a 100,000 crowns is a lot of money, but the standard Czech koruna is about $0.05 CDN. In other words, the accident saw about $5000 worth of damage to each car - still nothing to sneeze at, and certainly more than a little fender bender.
Residual alcohol? How drunk was he the night before if there was still residual alcohol in his system?
Look, I'm not here to condemn Ondrej Pavelec for having a drink. Any hockey fan knows that an adult beverage goes well with a sporting event if you're of age, and I'm certainly guilty of enjoying a beverage or two in my time. What I am condemning him for is driving under the influence.
Pavelec is a star in the city of Winnipeg. Kids want to play like Pavelec when they take the ice in Winnipeg. And now their parents have to explain why Pavelec got in trouble. If anything, the Jets shouldn't punish Pavelec in any way. Instead, make him do public service in terms of educating kids - the people who idolize him - about the perils of drinking and driving.
While the act of hiding the accident and DUI is certainly not very wise, the best thing that the Jets can do is turn this negative into a positive. Not only will it be good for themselves, but it could seriously help Pavelec overcome this mistake in the public eye. Pavelec made a mistake and it shouldn't be a reflection of his character as a whole, but this tarnish will stick with him unless it can be washed off.
Here's hoping that Pavelec makes a good decision to erase his poor one.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!