DeBoer on Pavelski: ‘I trust Joe with my life’
In a lot of ways, these Stanley Cup playoffs have been a gut punch for San Jose Sharks fans.
It’s seeing all these familiar faces from the franchise’s glory days, still starring for their respective teams deep into the post-season, in the Conference Finals. There’s 38-year-old Brent Burns leading the Carolina Hurricanes in icetime. There’s 38-year-old Joe Pavelski, second on the Dallas Stars in playoff goals. There’s Stars head coach Peter DeBoer, who was behind the bench for the San Jose Sharks’ lone trip to the Stanley Cup Final in 2016.
The Sharks, of course, are four years and running out of the post-season.
Current sports betting in Canada has DeBoer’s Stars an underdog against his old team
I hate to twist the knife again, but DeBoer just credited Pavelski for bringing him to Dallas – and admitted that he’d trust Pavelski with his life.
After the Sharks fired him in Dec. 2019, DeBoer led the Vegas Golden Knights to back-to-back trips to the Conference Finals, before the Golden Knights let him go last spring.
“The first thing that comes to mind is Joe Pavelski,” DeBoer told The Athletic about why he chose the Stars. “My captain in San Jose, always had great respect for him as a player. When I talked to him about the situation, he really felt the group can win. He talked really highly about the organization, ownership, and he talked really highly about Jim Nill and what a great man and a great person to work for and the organization that he built there.
“I trust Joe with my life.”
Like DeBoer, Pavelski departed San Jose in 2019. On the surface, GM Doug Wilson’s decision to let free agent and life-long Shark Pavelski walk made sense: The San Jose captain was in his mid-30’s and wanted a three-year contract, and the team was up against the cap.
“It was really one conversation with him. The obvious things, I’ve been in the league for 15 years. You go into Dallas, it’s a great city, great fanbase, great environment in the rink. All of those things. Lifestyle, weather,” DeBoer said, before emphasizing, “All of those things are important, but for me, it was my conversation with Joe Pavelski. I think I’d follow that guy anywhere.”
In hindsight, obviously, Wilson should’ve had that same faith in his captain. Since joining the Stars, Pavelski has scored 94 goals in 287 regular season games, and more importantly, 24 goals and counting in 43 playoff appearances, leading Dallas to the 2020 Stanley Cup Final, and now, the 2023 Western Conference Finals.
And in typical Pavelski fashion, he deflected. This time, it wasn’t a puck into the net, but DeBoer’s praise.
“We’ve always had a great relationship from our time in San Jose. A lot of respect for each other. Definitely one of my favorite staffs that I got to play for,” he said. “What the conversation was, I don’t know. We were just talking probably about the organization, about the players, some things I maybe see. Some things he saw, that he thought we could maybe do better.
“Some of the players we have obviously helps when a coach is looking at Dallas. And just kind of going from there.”
All this has to hurt more for San Jose Sharks fans now than in 2020, the Stars’ last deep playoff run. I mean, three years later – Pavelski’s initial three-year contract with the Stars has expired, and he’s about to start his second one-year hometown discount contract with Dallas next season – it’s 2023, and we’re still talking about how great he is, as opposed to how great he was.
Sheng’s Travel Fund
Help fund Sheng's travel! Every dollar goes to the cost of getting to and from Sharks road games.
Get SJHN in your inbox!
Extra Hour Hockey Training
Cathy’s Power Skating
Brock Otten on Why Sharks Let Gaudreau, McCue, Gilmartin Walk
SJHN Daily: Sharks Have Smith, Reinbacher Ahead of Michkov?
Ex-Sharks Prospect Gaudreau Talks Re-Entering Draft
SJHN Daily: Why Is Erik Karlsson Pulling for Golden Knights To Win Stanley Cup?
Could Sharks Add These Quality Free Agents?
AGENT: Ben Gaudreau Re-Entering Draft
Good News for Sharks? McKenzie Says Will Smith Now Among Draft’s Elite
SPECULATION: Could Coyotes Move to Sacramento?
Grier Happy With No. 4 Pick, Talks Michkov, Carlsson, Smith (+)
Mock Draft Check: Who Do Experts Think Sharks Will Pick?
Could Sharks Add These Quality Free Agents?
Greg Balloch Talks Draft’s Top Goalies
San Jose Sharks 4-Round Mock Draft
Timur Mukhanov, Diamond in the Rough?
Did Sharks Give Up on Hill Too Early?
Sharks Team & Cap Info
SJHN on Facebook