Joe Pavelski appears to be zeroing in on his next team.
Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman reported Saturday that the longtime Sharks captain, who is an unrestricted free agent, has "initiated talks" with the Dallas Stars. NHL free agency starts Monday at 9 a.m. PT, and players can agree to contracts then.
Pavelski reportedly met with the Stars earlier this week.
While Dallas landed that meeting with Pavelski, another Central Division team wasn't so lucky. The Athletic's Michael Russo reported Saturday that Pavelski decided not to visit the Minnesota Wild.
#mnwild are one of those teams. They were hoping he’d visit today, but he decided not to come. Wild brass has talked to Pavelski, sent him recruiting video, told they’re still an option— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) June 29, 2019
Handful of Wild players have tried to sway Joe. Winning a Cup is his biggest motivation https://t.co/iOveTUWed5
The Athletic's Craig Custance reported Friday that Pavelski was receiving interest from double-digit teams, but after 13 seasons with the Sharks, it appears he knows where he wants to go. It also probably helps that Texas doesn't have a state income tax.
Pavelski and the Sharks are about to go their separate ways because the team is strapped for salary-cap space and needs to re-sign several young players, including Timo Meier, Kevin Labanc and Joonas Donskoi.
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If Pavelski indeed signs a free-agent contract with the Stars, he'll see his former team three times next season: Jan. 11 in San Jose, March 14 in Dallas and April 2 again in San Jose.