A Team Effort
In no way is this article claiming that just one of these factors will be able to off-set the substantial loss of Pavelski’s production and unique skill set that is only rivaled by few elite goal scorers. However we can’t overlook the talent that’s already on this Sharks roster and with good health, better opportunities for young skaters, and time to formulate chemistry this team still has all the keys to do something special.
His hockey sense, scoring prowess, and power-play expertise will be sorely missed but at 35-years-old it was a tough ask for the Sharks to commit to 3 years. He is still an extremely valuable piece to any hockey team, but San Jose’s front office feels that they have the necessary tools internally to overcome the departure of their former captain.
38 goals appears like a lot to reproduce without a player of Pavelski’s caliber, however one could argue that little Joe’s strong season was due to a spike in shooting percentage at 5v5 and the additions of the talent surrounding him. Most significantly bringing in EK65 and the development of players like Tomas Hertl, Timo Meier, and Kevin Labanc.
Losing a captain and a franchise icon is extremely disheartening but the Sharks have proven over time that they have the culture within their locker room to overcome the adversity on and off the ice. This years training camp will be interesting to track how the coaching staff allocates the roles and ice time that were once held by Pavelski for so many seasons in Teal.