Over the last few months, the Dallas Stars have signed two-thirds of their top line to multi-year contracts, handing Jason Robertson a four-year bridge and today extending Roope Hintz for another eight seasons. Joe Pavelski, the elder statesman in the dynamic trio, is scheduled for unrestricted free agency at the end of the year. When asked today about Pavelski’s future with the club, general manager Jim Nill told Matthew DeFranks of the Dallas Morning News that it will be up to the veteran forward:
I think we’ll wait and see. Joe’s playing very well, and let’s see how the season goes. That’s really probably going to be Joe’s call. If he still feels he can play at the high standard he wants to play at, then we’ll sit down and talk.
The 38-year-old Pavelski still has what it takes to succeed at the NHL level and alongside his younger teammates, he is still excelling. With 24 points in 23 games, he is on pace for the first point-per-game season of his career, something he has flirted with several times but not actually accomplished. Last year he came oh-so-close, with 81 points in 82 games, and it would be quite the star on an exquisite resume to reach that goal at his age. One other milestone within reach is 1,000 points, which Pavelski sits just 52 away from. With his next point, he’ll pass Chris Chelios and tie Vincent Lecavalier for 108th on the all-time NHL scoring list.
- The Chicago Blackhawks will be without Sam Lafferty and Jarred Tinordi for at least a week, according to Mark Lazerus of The Athletic. The two are dealing with back and hip injuries respectively, and didn’t practice today. Lazerus also relays an update on goaltender Alex Stalock, who is still dealing with a concussion. His progression has been slowed in recent days as he continues to feel the effects of the Casey Cizikas hit from earlier this month.
- After ten days with the club and no action, Billy Sweezey has been sent back down by the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 26-year-old defenseman is probably not complaining, given the fact that he earned the NHL salary of his two-way contract – the first of his career – for that period. Sweezey signed a two-year deal in March after a good season with the Cleveland Monsters in 2021-22, when he racked up 114 penalty minutes and 11 points in 70 games.