Veteran NHL goaltender Curtis Sanford relocated to the KHL this summer, signing with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv.
Sanford played admirably for Columbus last season under tough circumstances, going 10-18-4 with a .911 save percentage and 2.60 goals-against average. But the Blue Jackets are shopping for a new starter while planning to keep Steve Mason as the back-up, so Sanford, 32, needed to find something else.
Now Russia has come calling for Ondrej Pavelec.
The workhorse Winnipeg Jets goaltender is due a major raise. As a restricted free agent, he should at least double the $1.3 million he earned last season while going 29-28-9 with four shutouts, a 2.91 goals-against average and .906 save percentage.
While the team seems committed to locking him into a long-term deal, progress on such a contract has been halting. So it wasn’t a big surprise when “Hockey Night in Canada” reported that SKA St. Petersburg has made Pavelec an offer worth considering.
The Winnipeg Sun contacted agent Allan Walsh, who represents Pavelec “I have no comment on Ondrej Pavelec at this time,” Walsh wrote in an e-mail on Saturday night.