The Dallas Stars made headlines all offseason long for various reasons. A new head coach, two major contract negotiations and signings, a Jim Nill contract extension, and multiple prospects rising in the system. Not to mention, the signing of Mason Marchment and the departure of John Klingberg. While all the news circulating has shaped what we believe to be the opening night roster, one bit of news has gone almost forgotten and is likely a major piece to the Stars success leading into the 2022-2023 NHL season. The re-signing of Joe Pavelski.
It’s no secret. Pavelski is coming off a career year in which he scored 81 points in 82 games played (27/54). The 54 assists for Pavelski was also a career-high. On a line accompanied by Roope Hintz and Jason Robertson, it doesn’t come as a shock that Pavelski was able to generate as many scoring opportunities as he did last year but throughout the offseason, you didn’t hear Pavelski’s name much at all. Now, obviously, you can attribute that to Pavs signing his contract well before any level of concern was created unlike that of his linemate Robo who signed last week and didn’t see any time on the ice during the preseason. Thankfully that Robo crisis was averted in a master class of negotiating by Jim Nill. Hate Nill all you want but that Robo contract was a thing of beauty.
Now back to Pavelski. Even a coach like Rick Bowness had success from his top line with an anchor like Pavs. Pavelski’s veteran presence and poise were key to the success that both Hintz and Robo achieved last year, while the pure talent of all three translated to Pavelski putting up career numbers. While it may not be a secret what Joe Pavelski brings to an organization, it translates to one of the most potent lines in the NHL.
Pavelski was also selected to the NHL All-Star team as well as finishing sixth in Lady Bing voting along with 22nd in the Selke Trophy voting meaning it wasn’t exactly an “under the radar” type of season, but with the influx of talent in the NHL and lack of attention paid to the Dallas Stars nationally it seemingly felt that way. Which, if we are being honest, isn’t the worst thing considering Pavelski could have easily signed with any team needing a valuable veteran to push them to that next level.
Joe Pavelski may not be considered a secret weapon, but with new head coach Pete DeBoer reuniting with Pavs and pushing for a more offensive-heavy team could we see an even more potent year for Captain America?