On July 1st, 2019, the Dallas Stars agreed to terms with former San Jose Sharks Captain, Joe Pavelski, on a three-year, $21 million ($7 million AAV) contract. This contract made Pavelski the third-highest paid player on the Stars under Tyler Seguin ($9.85) and Jamie Benn ($9.5). Now that the regular season appears to be over because of the NHL play stoppage, we decided to take a look into Pavelski’s production with a new team in a new city for the first time in his career.
It was an up and down regular-season for the Dallas Stars, as they had a 37-24-8 record before the stoppage, good for 3rd in the Central Division. They had a 3-5-2 record in their last ten games and were even on a three-game losing streak. In the height of the mid-season coaching carousel from November-January, The Stars fired head coach Jim Montgomery due to unprofessional conduct and replaced him with assistant coach Rick Bowness on an interim basis. Since the coaching change, the Stars have a 20-13-5 record and trail the first-place St. Louis Blues by twelve points in the Central Division.
In sixty-seven games played in 2019-20, Joe Pavelski recorded fourteen goals and seventeen assists for thirty-one points. This production was the seventh-best on the Stars this season behind Tyler Seguin (50pts), Jamie Benn (39pts), Miro Heiskanen (35pts), Alexander Radulov (34pts), Roope Hintz (33pts), and John Klingberg (32pts). Penalty taken/drawn wise, Pavelski had an 11:17 ratio, which was among the better ones on the team. He trails only Roope Hintz in terms of total penalties drawn this season (excluding offsetting penalties and major penalties), as Hintz drew twenty to Pavelski’s seventeen. Pavelski also had an impressive giveaway/takeaway ratio at 27:38 (+11 turnover +/-), which was the second-best on the team behind only Jason Dickinson’s 29:47 ratio (+18 turnover +/-). Pavelski was also +6 +/- wise, which was Top Five in Dallas this season as well.
AB wise, Pavelski finished with the fourth-highest individual score on the team this season with a +2.79, trailing only Jason Dickinson’s +3.65 score, Roope Hintz’s +3.57 score, and Denis Gurianov’s +3.09 score. Pavelski was one of only eight positive players on the Stars this season out of twenty-three players we have data on. Pavelski has an impressive +3.81 career AB score in thirteen seasons played, which is among the best out of any player who has played that much time. Pavelski’s +2.79 individual score this season was his best individual score since he registered a +4.44 score in 2015-16. Pavelski has never registered a negative individual AB season in his thirteen-year career.
We ran Pavelski’s contract through our arbitration analyzer and his closest comparable player was Nashville’s Ryan Johansen, who makes $8 million to Pavelski’s $7 million. Due to these results and everything we’ve discussed in this article, we think that Joe Pavelski is somewhat underpaid and that Dallas did a great job on his deal. Much more to come.