San Jose Sharks former captain Joe Pavelski is set to leave San Jose after signing a three-year contract with the Dallas Stars. At a reported average annual value (AAV) of $7 million, Pavelski will be the third highest AAV on the Stars, behind captain Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin.
Although Pavelski expressed interest in returning to the Sharks during their locker room clean-out, The Athletic’s Kevin Kurz reported that the two sides were “nowhere close” to a deal.
Pavelski was drafted by the Sharks in the seventh round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, 205th overall. After 16 games with the Worcester Sharks of the AHL, Pavelski made his NHL debut with the Sharks in 2006, scoring in his first game, only the 11th player in Sharks history to do so. In thirteen seasons with the Sharks, Pavelski has played 963 career games and scored 355 goals and 406 assists for a total of 761 points. He represented the Sharks at the NHL All-Star Game in 2016, 2017 and 2019.
Internationally, Pavelski has represented the United States at the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Games, as well as the 2009 IIHF World Championship and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.
While his peak was between 2013 and 2016, where he set career highs in all scoring categories and finished sixth in the league in points in 2015-16, Pavelski is coming off a season where he matched his second-highest total in goals with 38.
The concern with the soon-to-be 35-year-old Pavelski will be coming back from major head injuries sustained in the postseason. He was concussed during Game 7 of the Western Conference First Round against the Vegas Golden Knights and missed six games against the the Colorado Avalanche in the second round, returning for Game 7. In the Western Conference Final against the St. Louis Blues, Pavelski again sustained a head injury in Game 5 and did not return for Game 6.
Between that uncertainty and the cap situation the Sharks are facing after signing defenseman Erik Karlsson to an $11.5 million contract, it makes sense that Doug Wilson was unable to come to an agreement that would work for both parties involved.
The Dallas Stars will visit San Jose on January 11, 2020.