No matter what nickname you knew Joe Pavelski by during his 13 seasons with the Sharks, you'll wish you'd thought of the former San Jose captain's latest.
Pavelski's Dallas Stars teammates have started calling the man alternately known as "Pavs," "Little Joe" and "the Big Pavelski" by the nickname "Joe Exotic."
You read that correctly. Pavelski, in his first season with the team, shares a nickname with the "Tiger King" himself.
The real Joe Exotic, otherwise known as Joseph Allen Maldonado-Passage, was the star of Netflix's "Tiger King" docuseries released earlier this year and former proprietor of the Wynewood Exotic Animal Park. Exotic currently is serving a 22-year federal prison sentence after being convicted on 17 animal abuse charges, as well as two counts of murder for hire for his role in a plot to kill professional rival Carole Baskin.
So, how did Pavelski earn the nickname? He chirped teammate Roope Hintz for wearing a tiger-print shirt to the practice rink, according to ESPN's Greg Wyshynski. When Dallas staffers got word of Stars forward Mattias Janmark joking there should be a shirt with Pavelski as the "Tiger King," they sprung into action and shipped it to the players competing in the NHL's Edmonton bubble for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Dallas defenseman John Klingberg, photographed in the tweet embedded in this blog, beat out his teammates to lay claim to the very 2020-specific merch.
Pavelski is up to his same old tricks, even with a new moniker. The 36-year-old forward, who's in the first of a three-year contract he signed with the Stars last summer after leaving the Sharks in free agency, has five points (all goals) in seven games in the bubble. Pavelski scored his first career playoff hat trick in the Stars' 5-4 win over the Calgary Flames on Sunday, evening the series at two games apiece.
No matter the nickname, you can always just call Pavelski "clutch."