Dallas Stars Daily Links: The Making Of A Major Free-Agent Signing

How an old friend and a Dude Perfect video helped bring Joe Pavelski to Dallas. Plus, the Isles’ Robin Lehner controversy, seven years of “Breadman on Broadway” copy, and more.

Three years and $21 million are nothing to sneeze at – but money and term were just part of the package the Dallas Stars offered to secure the services of San Jose Sharks captain Joe Pavelski.

Sean Shapiro has some interesting details about how the Stars made Captain America an offer he couldn’t refuse – starting with a longstanding connection to a front-office fixture:

[Senior Director of Communications Tom] Holy’s name was mentioned in Pavelski’s conference call, discussed on his radio appearance with my colleague Bob Sturm and mentioned by Stars head coach Jim Montgomery when discussing the signing on Monday afternoon. This comes two days after I received a text from a source, which was probably lighthearted: “No other team has the Tom Holy connection. You can’t discount that.”...

Pavelski’s family wasn’t on the recruiting trip, but they were also a focus for the Stars. Pavelski’s son Nathan is a big fan of Dude Perfect, a Dallas-based group that makes trick shot videos on YouTube. The group made a video for the Pavelskis saying they were hopeful that Joe would sign in Dallas, a gesture that went over rather well with Nathan.

Sean also detailed how buyouts – both their own and those of other teams – enabled bargain-bin deals with forward Corey Perry and blueliner Andrej Sekera:

While they’ll be taking in larger weekly checks from the Ducks and Oilers, both Perry and Sekera should be motivated after effectively getting dumped because of contracts their prior employers felt they couldn’t live up to.

Perry missed most of the 2018-19 season due to a knee injury, came back a bit earlier than expected and struggled in 31 games, registering just 10 points. Sekera tore his Achilles before last season and only played 24 games with the Oilers. He did play seven games with Slovakia this spring at the IIHF World Championships, a showing the Stars scouted and used to gauge his effectiveness after the injury issues.

The moves are possible because the Stars bought out the final year of Valeri Nichushkin’s contract, saving $2.25 million in cap space. With Pavelski on board, it became clear Nichushkin had to be axed for Dallas to add players.

There’s more behind the paywall – including Jamie Benn’s pitch to Perry, more on the Tyler Pitlick - Ryan Hartman deal, and the first appearance of new assistant coach John Stevens. [The Athletic DFW]

Stars Stuff

Speaking of the Stars’ new coach, here’s the official word on his hiring.

The organization seems confident that Perry and Sekera can prove their worth to both the team and its fans.

That would be great, because Perry’s deal could end up being worth a lot more than the $1.5 million he signed for.

How old is this lineup now? Here’s a starting place.

Around The League(s)

Future Central Division rivals the Arizona Coyotes won the Phil Kessel sweepstakes – which means that soon we will see both way too much of him and not nearly enough.

Do you think the Yotes are excited enough? I wonder if they’re excited enough....

Artemi Panarin has joined the New York Rangers, which means we’ll probably be seeing “Breadman on Broadway” headlines for the next seven years.

Former Star Brett Ritchie has landed with the Boston Bruins.

The Florida Panthers filled the space left by the Roberto Luongo retirement by signing Sergei Bobrovsky to a massive deal.

Current and future superstar Sebastian Aho signed a five-year, $42.27 million offer sheet from the Montreal Canadiens.

In the no-surprise department, the Canes will almost certainly match the offer.

Robin Lehner is on his way to the Chicago Blackhawks, but a controversy is brewing over why he’s no longer with the New York Islanders.

Here’s more about the Isles’ move to acquire Semyon Varlamov.

And here’s an interesting thread on how Palm Springs, California is preparing to become part of Seattle’s NHL organization.

Greetings From Scenic Cedar Park

An important move for the Texas Stars: Landon Bow will be back in goal and the de facto third on the organization’s depth chart in that area.

The team also brought back defender Reece Scarlett and brought over center Tanner Kero.