Pavelski signed a three-year deal worth $21 million, which carries a cap hit of $7 million per season. The contract carries carry a full no-trade clause for the first two years and a modified NTC the final year. Pavelski will also not have a no-move clause in the third season, meaning Dallas will not be forced to protect him for the 2021 Seattle expansion draft.
One of the major storylines of last season was the Stars’ lack of secondary scoring, which was remedied in part by the acquisition of Mats Zuccarello at the trade deadline. Many fans hoped that Zuccarello would re-sign with Dallas, but the two sides were unable to come to an agreement, which left a hole in the team’s top-six forward group.
Enter Pavelski. Coming off of a spectacular year in which he scored 38 goals in 75 games, Pavelski will immediately become one of the Stars’ top scoring options. Fans should temper their expectations a little bit though as Pavelski was shooting at a career-high 20.2% and turns 35 in 10 days. However, Pavelski should still post at least 50-60 points this season. Considering Jamie Benn was the team’s third leading scorer last year with 53 points, that should be good enough for Dallas.
Speaking of the Stars’ captain, Pavelski will also make a fine addition to the team’s leadership core. He spent the last four years as the Sharks’ captain, plus he served as Team USA’s captain for the 2016 World Cup. He also brings a wealth of playoff experience to the table; he has only missed the playoffs once in his 13-year career. He’s suited up for 134 postseason games, including two Western Conference Final appearances and a trip to the Stanley Cup Final.
That last part is perhaps the most important takeaway here. Unable to return to San Jose due to salary-cap constraints, Pavelski was looking to join a team he felt he could win a Stanley Cup with. He spoke to multiple teams, but ultimately only visited Dallas and the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The fact that one of this year’s top free agents chose Dallas to continue his playing career is a great sign for a franchise with a core that’s ready to win now. And now with Pavelski in the fold, the Stars just might have what it takes to bring home another championship.
For more information on Pavelski, you can read our free agent profile on him here.