Joe Pavelski’s legacy as a hockey player will be remembered for his consistency as a San Jose Shark and renaissance as a Dallas Star.

Pavelski announced his intention to retire from hockey for the 2024-25 season following the loss in Game Six of the Western Conference final. 

He told the media, “This is it for me.”

It might not be a clear, direct retirement announcement, but the 18-year NHL veteran has been a quiet player off the ice throughout his illustrious career. 

Pavelski collected 1,068 points across 1,332 National Hockey League games. Among the all-time points leaders, “Jumbo” Joe Pavelski ranks 71st ahead of former greats like Keith Tkachuk, Ray Whitney, Patrice Bergeron, Martin St. Louis, and Doug Weight. Pavelski had the knack for tipping pucks, but he also could be the perfect setup man for his teammates. 

Of those 1,068 points, he assisted teammates 592 times and lit the lamp 476 times. 

The former Wisconsin Badger (2004-06) was drafted in the seventh round (205 overall) of the historic 2003 NHL Entry Draft. San Jose named him captain 12 years later at the beginning of the 2015-16 campaign. Pavelski led the Sharks to the 2016 Stanley Cup Final. San Jose fans remember the sight of Pavelski bloody and battered after a late faceoff scramble in the opening round of the 2019 playoffs against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Pavelski won an offensive zone face-off before being flipped over and landing on the ice headfirst with 11 minutes to go in regulation. Despite being down by three goals in game seven, the team rallied around his absence, scoring four goals before sealing winning the game and the series in overtime. 

Pavelski with the Stars

Pavelski signed a three-year contract in 2019 with Dallas. July 1, 2019, to be exact.

A move that looked like a fatal error during the regular season (31 points in 67 games), but slick transaction through the Stars’ Stanley Cup run. Pavelski registered 13 goals and 6 assists for 19 points in 27 games. Around that time, the Stars featured young players ready to break through the NHL landscape step, like Miro Heiskanen and Jason Robertson. Pavelski’s leadership and mentorship validated the decision to bring the veteran in for three years, including the way he treated teammates away from the rink.

Pavelski always welcomed teammates into his home. Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin, and Wyatt Johnston have all lived with the Pavelski family at some point. Each man was emotional when asked about the likelihood of their beloved teammate’s return.

Even head coach Pete DeBoer, who previously coached Pavelski in San Jose, was heartfelt in his comments about Pavelski.

“I don’t know if it’ll be Joe’s last game or not, but it was an absolute privilege of my coaching career to coach a guy like that. Our young players are all better for having been around a guy like that.”

The former Sharks captain generated the best numbers of his career as a member of the Stars.

In 2021-22, he recorded 27 goals and 54 assists for 81 points in 82 games on a line with Roope Hintz and Robertson.

Hockey analysts and fans will be waiting to hear an official announcement.
Until then, we know Pavelski will be a member of the 2024-25 Dallas Stars.

PHOTO: Getty Images

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