The Dallas Stars have added one of the most well-respected leaders in the NHL, signing Joe Pavelski to a three-year, $21MM contract. Pavelski had been contacted by a ton of teams when the San Jose Sharks left him unsigned, but eventually decided to join the Stars and stay in the Western Conference.
The soon to be 35-year-old had spent his entire career with San Jose and is coming off one of his stronger seasons offensively. He matched his career high in goals with 38 while averaging over 19 minutes per game for the sixth straight year. He was also productive in the postseason, chipping in with nine points in 13 contests.
Pavelski leaves San Jose as one of their leading scorers in franchise history, sitting second in goals, third in assists, and third in points. While there’s no doubt that the Sharks would have liked to have kept him around, their contract for defenseman Erik Karlsson significantly cut into their cap space while they have a pair of restricted free agents of note to re-sign in wingers Timo Meier and Kevin Labanc.
The Stars have had a dominant front line over the past couple of seasons with Tyler Seguin, Jamie Benn, and Alexander Radulov but their secondary scoring had been a concern. This addition should go a long way towards fixing that as Pavelski has averaged 34 goals per season since the lockout-shortened 2013-14 season. For perspective, their next highest goal getter last year beyond that top line was Radek Faksa who had 15 goals.
Dreger notes that the Stars are in the market for another veteran forward to help deepen their attack. He listed veteran Corey Perry as an option after he was bought out by Anaheim earlier this month.
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