Why break up a good thing? The Dallas Stars and Joe Pavelski have decided to continue their relationship, signing a one-year extension worth $5.5MM. The contract will include an additional $500K in performance bonuses based on games played thresholds. He’ll earn $100K for every ten games played up to 50. The contract also includes a full no-movement clause. Stars GM Jim Nill released a statement:
In his three seasons here, Joe has proven to be one of the strongest, most respected voices in the dressing room, as well as being one of the most consistent performers on the ice. He has played at an All-Star level this season, and by signing this deal now, it is a testament to what he sees in this organization and how this organization values what he brings day-in and day-out. He is a true professional, an incredible leader, and an example to everyone in our organization of what the standard is.
Pavelski, 37, hasn’t lost a step yet as he continues to be a top performer for the Stars alongside Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz. That line has been outstanding this season, dominating the opposition to the tune of 160 combined points so far. Pavelski accounts for 59 of those through 56 games, a number that leads the Stars just as he did last season.
It’s been an incredible career for Pavelski, who will reach 1,200 games if he stays healthy next season (and has a shot at 1,000 points, depending on how the rest of this year goes). His obvious chemistry with the younger players, along with the fact that he’s still capable of playing both center and wing, make him a very valuable option for the Stars even at his age. One of the most well-respected leaders in the league, it’s not just his locker room presence that they’re bringing back. Pavelski will likely reach the 30 goal mark for the sixth time this season and has a chance to even set a career-high in points (his previous high is 79).
Because he’s still so good, some wondered whether the Stars would make him available at this year’s trade deadline. The veteran forward would have drawn interest from basically every contender in the league, but it never did make much sense for Dallas to part ways with him. Not only does he have a trade clause that lets him list just three teams he’s willing to go to, but the Stars have done enough to remain in the Central Division playoff race. While they lost an important game to the Nashville Predators this week, they are still just four points out of a divisional spot and occupy the second wild card spot.
Trading Pavelski would have been like throwing in the towel given his importance to the group, and a one-year deal comes with very little risk. They can revisit the team’s situation a year from now when his value will still be high unless there is a huge drop-off in performance. With John Klingberg likely headed to market (if not traded by the deadline) and Alexander Radulov on an expiring deal, the team had a little bit of salary coming off the books anyway. While Robertson will likely be looking at a huge RFA raise, there was always going to be room to bring Pavelski back on a short-term deal.
David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period was first to report the extension. Darren Dreger of TSN added that it will be a one-year contract, while Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reported the salary.