SAN JOSE -- Well, that was emotional -- as expected.
Former Sharks captain Joe Pavelski received a very loud, very long standing ovation from the entire SAP Center crowd ahead of San Jose's game against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night.
Welcome back, Pavs 😢 pic.twitter.com/0JuwAw5EeA— Sharks on NBCS (@NBCSSharks) January 12, 2020
Facing the Sharks as an opposing player for the very first time, Pavelski received several cheers throughout pregame warmups, with each one louder than the last. It culminated with a video tribute on the jumbotron in which memorable moments from Pavelski's 13-season tenure with the franchise were on display. Following the tribute, Pavelski skated out into the middle of the ice as cheers rained down from the stands.
[RELATED: How Sharks have missed Pavelski on, off ice]
Pavelski acknowledged it would be "awkward" to play against the only franchise he had ever been a part of prior to this season, and surely he had some goosebumps. He seemed to thoroughly appreciate the acknowledgment from the fans, and clearly, they appreciated all Pavelski has done for the team over the years.