Too often, athletes find themselves involved with the law for all the wrong reasons. I think we most regularly see this in the NFL (Hey Elvis Dumervil and Dez Bryant, what is wrong with you guys?), but no sport is free from bad apples — or at least guys that make stupid decisions.
This was highlighted late Monday when Winnipeg Jets netminder Ondrej Pavelec was in a car accident in the Czech Republic after deciding to drive his BMW with a .2 blood alcohol level.
Are you serious?
Fortunately, no one was injured in the accident. But, what a ridiculous move by the 24-year-old, who just signed a very nice 5-year deal to stay in Winnipeg. It’s one thing to have some fun, but another to jeopardize your ability to play in an incident like this.
Earlier today, his legal fate was given in the form of a 20-month ban from driving in the Czech Republic and a suspended six-month prison sentence.
These legal ramifications only affect Pavelec in his native country, so when he returns to the NHL, he should be able to avoid many penalties from the league. Unfortunately, given most clubs desire to win, he may be able to waltz back into Canada without even a slap on the wrist from his club. This is a serious offense, and should be treated in that way. It seems that too often professional sports teams forget that.
Pavelec is coming off a season in which he won 29 games and posted a 2.91 goals against average. He is scheduled to make an average of $3.9 million annually moving forward.