Sharks

NASCAR driver Michael Annett following Joe Pavelski, Sharks in NHL playoffs

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AP/USATSI

NASCAR driver Michael Annett following Joe Pavelski, Sharks in NHL playoffs

Joe Pavelski has a fan in NASCAR driver Michael Annett.

Annett, who picked up his first career Xfinity Series win at Daytona in February, played with the Sharks captain in 2003-04. The two were members of the USHL's Waterloo Black Hawks that season, and won a Clark Cup -- the league championship -- together. 

“You get those 30 guys from all over the country that you can find to play for one team for a season, you all grow really close like brothers,” Annett told NBC Sports' NASCAR Talk. “I’m just really proud of him. I know what it takes, I know how many hot, little kids are hockey players and that’s what they dream of doing. To see him still doing it at the level he is as the captain of a team that’s made the playoffs (in all but one of Pavelski’s 13 seasons), just really proud of him.”

Pavelski led Waterloo in goals (21), was second in points (52) that season, and the team entered the postseason as the lowest seed in the East Division. The Black Hawks upset two higher-seeded teams en route to the Clark Cup, and Pavelski earned a reputation as a playoff performer with 12 points (six goals, six assists) in 12 games. 

Annett follows his old teammate's exploits in the NHL, but it's not a one-way street. He said Pavelski reached out to him after his first Xfinity win in February, and the two still talk occasionally. 

“It’s all through Instagram messages,” Annett said. “When somebody does something pretty cool you reach out and tell him that ‘That was pretty awesome, I’m still following you.'”

[RELATED: Sharks need everyone to step up in Game 4]

Annett told NASCAR Talk he has followed the Sharks' run in the Stanley Cup playoffs so far, noting that the team has "got to get their act together if they're going to beat the [Vegas Golden Knights]" in the first round. San Jose trails 2-1 in the series, and Pavelski has two points through three games. 

Pavelski will have to be a big part of the Sharks' potential comeback, and his old teammate will be pulling for him. 

Sharks' Erik Karlsson, Marc Edouard-Vlasic, Martin Jones excites Randy Hahn

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USATSI

Sharks' Erik Karlsson, Marc Edouard-Vlasic, Martin Jones excites Randy Hahn

It's a new era of Sharks hockey in San Jose with the departure of captain Joe Pavelski, but there are still plenty of reasons to be optimistic about next season. 

For Randy Hahn, the voice of the Sharks, it all starts with the team's defense. Specifically, it's the trio of Erik Karlsson, Marc Edouard-Vlasic and Martin Jones that has Hahn itching for the season to begin. 

Re-signing Karlsson was the focal point to the Sharks' offseason and San Jose's front office sealed the deal with an eight-year, $92 million contract. With new weight to his wallet, expectations have rocketed for Karlsson in Year 2 wearing teal. 

“There is huge expectations for Erik Karlsson, as there should be and as I’m sure he expects,” Hahn recently said to Blades of Teal's Quentin Thorne. “He is one of the premier players in the league, and has been especially for the last five to six years.”

Karlsson struggled with injuries during his first season with the Sharks, but he still managed to post 45 points (three goals, 42 assists) in 53 regular-season games. He recorded 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 19 playoff games, which ranked second on San Jose.

When Karlsson did play, the Sharks went 30-23 in regular-season games and 10-9 in the playoffs.

While he's not a star like Karlsson, Hahn is intrigued to see the growth of Vlasic. 

“With a guy like Marc-Edouard Vlasic, I think the goal of the Sharks is to pair him with Karlsson next season,” Hahn said. “[Vlasic] being a tremendous defensive defender in the NHL and Karlsson being a tremendous offensive defender, and the second wave of offense coming from Brent Burns.”

Rounding out the trio is the Sharks' goaltender.

Jones had a down year where he posted a career-worst .896 save percentage and 2.94 goals against average. Clearly, Hahn still believes in him. 

[RELATED: Why Erik Karlsson's vision, deception stood out]

“Martin Jones is an excellent goalie, I don’t think he is elite yet, but next season I think he has a chance to be,” Hahn said. “The Sharks have a lot of confidence in Martin Jones and they know how good he can be.”

The Sharks open the 2019-20 regular season in Las Vegas, and all eyes will be on their defense taking away goals from the Golden Knights. 

Former Sharks captain Joe Pavelski officially sells San Jose mansion

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USATSI

Former Sharks captain Joe Pavelski officially sells San Jose mansion

It's official, Joe Pavelski no longer is a San Jose resident.

The former Sharks captain has sold his mansion in the affluent Willow Glen neighborhood for $3.6 million, according to The Mercury News.

The original purchase of the five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom house was in 2013 for $2.7 million. 

This 4,400-square-foot mansion is surrounded by redwood trees, with a front yard full of flowers and a manicured lawn. And when it comes to the background, it's the perfect lounge area ... with plenty of splashes of teal.

Pavelski bids farewell to the Bay Area after he signed a three-year, $21 million deal with the Dallas Stars. 

Now he can check off one more thing from his moving to-do list.

GALLERY OF PAVELSKI'S FORMER SAN JOSE MANSION