Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec sorry for DUI conviction
Winnipeg Jets goalie Ondrej Pavelec is apologizing to fans for driving while impaired in the Czech Republic last year.
Pavelec said he made a mistake in the May 26 collision in his hometown of Kladno, west of Prague, in which his BMW hit another car. No one was injured.
"I am sorry," he told reporters in Winnipeg on Wednesday.
"I am going to do my best to make it up [to the] fans and make [it up to] the team. And I'm 100 per cent sure it's never going to happen again."
Pavelec pleaded guilty to impaired driving in connection with the incident. A judge in Kladno handed him a 20-month driving ban in July.
News of the conviction surfaced around the time Pavelec was sentenced — just weeks after he had signed a $19.5-million US, five-year contract with the Jets.
Pavelec said it was a mistake that he did not inform Jets management of the conviction during contract talks.
He said he was scared at the time, so he didn't tell anyone except for his parents.
"I realize that if you're in this market in Winnipeg and you [are a] pro athlete, that you're responsible for your own actions wherever you are," Pavelec said.
"You're part of the team and you're part of the organization, so I learned a lot from that."
Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff told reporters late Wednesday that while the team does not condone what happened, it is supporting Pavelec in his growth since the incident.
While his driving ban from the Czech Republic is in effect, Pavelec will not be allowed to drive in Manitoba.
Manitoba Public Insurance has said drivers with suspended licences for impaired driving elsewhere are not legally allowed to drive here.