Stars fans will forever fondly remember the date of July 1, 2019. The 34-year-old Joe Pavelski signed a 3-year, $21 million deal with the Dallas Stars. Concerns about his age at the time quickly went away as the now long-tenured Star continuously sits atop the team stats every year. Now after 307 games with the franchise, it is clear that Pavelski is among the greatest players in Stars history. His offensive production has moved the franchise well into Stanley Cup contenders. Only one last thing is missing in this 39-year-old’s career and the Stars can bring him one this year.
The Stars needed one missing puzzle piece in a roster looking for that offensive spark. The St. Louis Blues recently ended their season in double overtime of Game 7 while moving on to win the Stanley Cup. Free Agency came around and the Stars wasted no time in offering the long-time San Jose Shark a chance at winning a Stanley Cup. Pavelski approached 35 years old at the time of signing so questions arose as to why the Stars offered an aging veteran $7 million per year for 3 years. Those questions quickly went away when he started playing.
Pavelski showed signs of things to come in the Covid-shortened season with 31 points in 67 games. Pavelski went to work in the playoffs while leading the team with 13 goals during the run to the Stanley Cup Final. Fans had no idea what was about to happen.
Rise of the Pavs
2021 wasn’t the best of years for the Stars but Pavelski did lead the team offensively. He topped the team standings with 51 points in 56 games. 2022 is when he started to pop off. The dynamic trio of Hintz, Pavelski, and Robertson skated circles around the competition. The trio cleared the rest of the roster by 23 points which were pivotal in qualifying for the playoffs. Pavelski’s 81 points helped the Stars secure a spot in the playoffs but ultimately fell short in overtime of Game 7 against the Calgary Flames.
Pavelski provides decades of veteran hockey experience that all came to fruition in 2022-2023. Being on a line with Robertson ended up with him having one of the best seasons in franchise history. Robertson unloaded offensively with the help of Pavelski on his line. Robertson’s 46 goals and 109 points is one of the best seasons in a Stars uniform. Pavelski missed a bunch of playoff games due to injury but it still didn’t stop the Stars from reaching the Western Conference Final. He netted 9 goals in 14 playoff games while also averaging one point per game. Twilight is far behind him in his career with his final games approaching.
Pavelski is doing the same this season with 10 goals and 20 points in 10 games. The ageless wonder is now 39 years old and still playing like his prime. No one is questioning that signing anymore as he already scored 104 goals with the team. Pavelski is almost guaranteed a spot in the Hall of Fame. It is unknown at this time if Pavelski wants to sign another contract extension to play in his age-40 season. He may hang up the skates after this year. There is one last thing that will cement his career. Winning the Stanley Cup is the golden ticket of any NHL player’s career. Hoisting the Stanley Cup eluded him throughout all these years. The Stars winning the Stanley Cup with him will send this future Hall of Famer off into the sunset as a champion. Regardless, he is still one of the franchise greats.