NHL Notebook: Is this the end for Joe Pavelski?

Dallas Stars Joe Pavelski
Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Ryley Delaney
17 days ago
The 2023-24 National Hockey League season will be completed in just under three weeks.
With that being said, there’s still a ton of news, some regarding teams recently eliminated, as well as some free agency news. Moreover, the 2024 Memorial Cup was won on Sunday, and two prospects have signed entry-level contracts.
Let’s take a look at the latest NHL Notebook.

Was Game 6 the final game for Joe Pavelski?

When the final horn went on Sunday, questions arose whether or not that was Joe Pavelski’s last game in his career.
The right-shot centre was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the seventh round (205th overall) in 2003. He spent 13 seasons with the Sharkies, scoring 355 goals and 761 points, helping the team make numerous deep playoff runs, and even becoming their captain.
He headed to Dallas to begin the 2019-20 (coincidentally, when the Sharks started to struggle) and has scored 121 goals and 307 points in 369 games with the Stars, including a 27-game playoff run in the 2020 postseason. Despite being 39 for the entirety of the 2023-24 season, Pavelski managed to score 27 goals and 67 points.
Without question, he can still produce at a high rate, but is it the end of the line for Little Joe? Time will tell.

Players who’ve upped their value heading into free agency

On Monday, Daily Faceoff’s released an article Monday featuring 10 players who upped their value in the postseason.
Unsurprisingly, no Oilers ranked on the list, as Warren Foegele and Vincent Desharnais had been scratched the past few games. However, there are some notable players that the Oilers could target during the off-season.
Jake DeBrusk
It feels like it’ll only be a matter of time before Jake DeBrusk, son of Oilers’ colour commentator Louie DeBrusk, is an Edmonton Oiler. The left-winger scored 19 goals and 40 goals in 80 games this past season, well off from his 27 goals and 50 points in 64 games last season, but he made it up during the Boston Bruins’ postseason run. The 27-year-old scored five goals and 11 points in 13 games before a second-round exit by the Bruins.
Dakota Joshua
Big, physical, nasty, and a scoring touch is a good way to describe Dakota Joshua. In the regular season, the 2014 fifth-round pick scored 18 goals and 32 points in 63 games and followed that up with four goals and eight points in 13 postseason games. Against the Oilers, he was all over the ice laying the body.
Brandon Montour
Welcome to the “What do the Edmonton Oilers need” section. The next three players we’ll look at are right-shot defencemen, starting with Florida Panther defender Brandon Montour. The Brantford native scored 16 goals and 73 points in 80 games in 2022-23, but tailed off in 2023-24 scoring just eight goals and 33 points. Well this postseason, he has three goals and nine points in 17 postseason games while playing first-pairing minutes.
Chris Tanev
The Oilers were interested in right-shot defenceman Chris Tanev before the trade deadline, but it was the Dallas Stars who landed the veteran shutdown defencemen. Tanev always faced the toughest competition, including Connor McDavid, and played through what was a very clear significant injury in Games 5 and 6. There is worry about his age (34), but he would bolster Edmonton’s defence nicely.
Nikita Zadorov
Edmonton had a first-hand look at how impactful the big Russian defenceman could be in a series, as he scored four goals and eight points in 13 postseason games for the Canucks before they were eliminated by the Oilers. Not only that, but he engaged in so many battles with fellow #91, Evander Kane. Great defender, a great soundbite, and could get paid like a top-four defenceman soon enough.

Memorial Cup won by Spirit

The 2024 Memorial Cup has been hoisted by the hosts, the Saginaw Spirit.
On Sunday, they took a 3-0 lead with just over 12 minutes left in the second period, but the London Knights stormed back to tie the game midway through the third period. It looked as if the championship game was going to head to overtime, but Josh Bloom scored with just 22 seconds left in the game, sending the hosts home as the Memorial Cup champions.
The Knights were seen as the juggernaut, as they’d only lost two games from the start of the playoffs to before this game. Ironically, both of those games were to the Spirit during the Ontario Hockey League’s Western Conference Final. Their domination continued in the Memorial Cup, going a perfect 3-0 in the round-robin before this loss to the Spirit.

Damian Clara signs an entry-level contract with Anaheim

Moving on to two signings, the first of which is from Pacific Division bottom feeder, the Anaheim Ducks.
It was announced on Monday that they were signing Damian Clara, a 19-year-old netminder who they selected in the second round of the 2023 draft. Last season with Brynäs IF, he posted a .912 save percentage and a 2.23 goals-against average in 34 games, along with four shutouts. The Italian goaltender was even better in the postseason, as he had a .931 save percentage and a 1.68 goals-against average in 11 games.
Clara is the first netminder drafted from Italy, as he grew up in Brunico, Italy.

Jakub Rychlovský signs an entry-level contract with Detroit

It was announced on Monday that the Detroit Red Wings were signing Czech forward Rychlovský to an entry-level deal.
The 22-year-old undrafted forward played for HC Bílí Tygři Liberec in Czechia’s top-tier league, the Czech Extraliga. He scored 26 goals and 46 points in 51 games after just five goals and 17 points the season prior. On top of a new career-best by a wide margin, he scored five goals and seven points in nine postseason games.
It remains to be seen what happens with Rychlovský, but it’s possible he will head to the American Hockey League next season to play with the Grand Rapid Griffins.
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