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Pavelski Plans To Retire

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Credit: Dean Tait/Hockey Shots

It’s not official yet.

But Joe Pavelski told Dallas Stars reporters today that the plan is to retire.

“This is it for me,” the 39-year-old told Taylor Baird of NHL.com and Defending Big D. “Plan is not to play next season.”

If this is it for Pavelski, he will retire as the highest scorer of the 2003 Draft with 476 goals and 1,068 points. He also added 74 goals and 143 points in 201 playoff games.

This is all the more remarkable because he was the 205th pick of the 2003 Draft, a seventh-round selection by the San Jose Sharks out of the USHL’s Waterloo Blackhawks.

Pavelski then starred at the University of Wisconsin. After starting the 2006-07 season with the AHL’s Worcester Sharks, Pavelski became an immediate contributor when he made his NHL debut in Nov. 22, 2006 for the San Jose Sharks, scoring a goal. The 22-year-old never went back to the AHL.

Over a 13-year career with the Sharks, the fan favorite scored 355 goals and 761 points in 963 games, burnishing his reputation as a net front weapon and clutch playoff performer. His name also became synonymous with American hockey, representing USA in the Olympics in 2010 and 2014. In 2016, he was named captain of the US World Cup squad, earning the “Captain America” moniker.

In 2015, Pavelski was named captain of the San Jose Sharks, leading them to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final that season.

Pavelski also helped the Sharks to the 2010, 2011, and 2019 Western Conference Finals.

In the summer of 2019, Pavelski signed with the Dallas Stars, and well into his 30’s, kept scoring. In 369 games in Dallas, Pavelski put up 121 goals and 307 points.

He helped the Stars to a 2020 Stanley Cup Final appearance and 2023 and 2024 Western Conference Finals.

Unfortunately for Pavelski, he couldn’t summon his customary playoff magic this post-season, scoring just one goal and three assists in 19 games. He will also retire as the player with the most playoff appearances without a Stanley Cup.

But that doesn’t take away from the legacy of Pavelski, who like the character Captain America, went from the ultimate underdog to legend.

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