Pavelski Signs With Stars, Says Sharks Didn’t Step Up

The Dallas Stars were busy on Monday. They signed Corey Perry to a one-year deal, then inked former San Jose Sharks forward Joe Pavelski to a three-year deal.

Details of the deal are that he’ll carry an annual value around $7 million that will make Pavelski Dallas’ third-highest paid player during the 2019-20 season. Only Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin will make more.

Pavelski spent 13 seasons with the Sharks and seeing him in a Stars’ uniform will certainly take some adjusting. Many insiders are saying the Sharks will feel this loss a lot more than they realize. Why he left will sting for San Jose fans as well.

Related: Corey Perry Signs 1-Yr Deal With Dallas Stars

How Pavelski Wound Up in Dallas

We noted on Sunday, it was being reported by Andy Strickland that Joe Pavelski is leaning away from the San Jose Sharks and towards making Tampa his first option on a free agency deal.

San Jose Sharks Erik Karlsson Timo Meier Joe Pavelski
San Jose Sharks’ Erik Karlsson celebrates with Timo Meier and Joe Pavelski (AP Photo/Josie Lepe, File)

When the Sharks decided that the biggest chunk of their salary cap would go to defenseman Erik Karlsson, questions were immediate as to how they would sign other players under a dropping salary cap. The answer was that they’d have to let some familiar faces go.

When Tampa was also a team that was going to struggle to fit Pavelski and his salary in under the cap, Dallas started to become a real option. And, when it became clear Mats Zuccarello was going to leave Dallas, Pavelski was a much easier contract to make work financially.

Pavelski told TSN that he was looking for a three-year deal and not every team wanted to do that. He said, “they’ve got a good goalie, great young d and some power forwards. When we went for a visit, they rose to the top.”

Pavelski also said the Sharks could have come up more in terms of their offer and because he’s getting older, he feels he earned the right to negotiate the right to get the best deal. He thinks he can play longer but he liked a three-year term and offered some stability.

From his tone, the sense was Pavelski wasn’t pleased that San Jose didn’t offer to keep him like he thinks they should have.

Related: Sergei Bobrovsky Signs With Florida Panthers

Pavelski Had a Plan

There were plenty of teams that wanted a chance to chat with Pavelski.
Pierre LeBrun believes that Pavelski only met with the Lightning and Dallas Stars, having turned down other meeting requests. There were a few other teams that were pushing hard and Pavelski certainly hasn’t committed to anyone.

Joe Pavelski - Sharks
Joe Pavelski, San Jose Sharks, Oct. 9, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

But, as a veteran Pavelski is likely working on his last contract big in the NHL. There were places he wanted to go and places he didn’t.

He said he was honest with teams saying he wasn’t interested and told others they needed to come up with their offer. In the end, Dallas became the most logical option.

Related: Blue Jackets Sign Gustav Nyquist for 4 Years

What the Stars Will Get

The Stars will be happy Pavelski chose them as he’s one of the best leaders in the game and brings far more than just production, which is still pretty high-end. The Dallas Stars, meanwhile, were a team in the news a lot because they were often lacking in effort and called out by the ownership when things weren’t going well.

Pavelski is sure to help keep the team on the right track and add some offense. He scored 38 goals and 64 points with the Sharks last season. He’s had multiple 60 and 70-point seasons in the NHL.