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Joe Pavelski: at nearly 40, he’s still part of the NHL elite

In the world of professional sports, age eventually catches up with all athletes. We’ve seen it in recent years with the Canadiens, as Carey Price (34) and Shea Weber (35) were forced to hang up their skates much earlier than they’d hoped due to injury.

There’s even Brendan Gallagher, who at 31 has already aged well beyond his prime. And yet, 31 isn’t all that old.

That said, there are always exceptions. Of course, Jaromir Jagr is the first name that springs to mind, still playing professionally in Europe at the age of 51.

But in the NHL, there’s also one… who doesn’t get talked about much, playing in Dallas.

Even though he’s now 39 (he’ll be 40 this summer), Joe Pavelski simply isn’t slowing down. This season, he has 39 points, including 18 goals in 43 games. He’ll have the opportunity to have a 14th season of at least 20 goals (including five of at least 30 goals) if he scores two by the end of the season, but more importantly, he’s still producing at a rate of nearly a point per game.

(Credit: Screenshot/HockeyDB)

Pavelski, who signed a one-year pact for $3.5 million this season, is a real boon for the Stars, as he averages 16:36 per game in addition to being a big offensive contributor for the Stars.

In recent years, the trio he formed with Jason Robertson and Roope Hintz was one of the best in the NHL, but for some time now, Wyatt Johnston has taken his place on the first unit. That said, good old Pavelski is still producing, with a point in each of his last four games (including three goals).

Not bad for the NHL’s second-oldest player. Only Mark Giordano, who turned 40 last October, is ahead of him in this respect.

And even though Pavelski is getting on in years, he still has the talent to continue producing at such a pace. He’s managed to avoid injury for most of his career, and one wonders whether he might not return for another season in 2024-25 (and, more importantly, continue to produce like this offensively).

Hats off to Pavelski, really… and we wish him a Stanley Cup to punctuate his hugely underrated career.

In gusto

– Amazon will be broadcasting these games via a stake in the Bally Sports network.

– Great read.

– Justin Barron: Renaud Lavoie talks about Martin St-Louis’ “aggressive patience” to justify why he’s been left out recently.

– Jean-François Houle is right: Logan Mailloux will have to keep proving his worth.

– Maxim Lapierre wants nothing to do with Trevor Zegras in Montreal.

– Tony Marinaro, meanwhile, would “think about it” if the Ducks asked for Kaiden Guhle for Trevor Zegras.

– Mike McCarthy will be back with the Cowboys next year. Many expected him to be fired, but that won’t be the case.

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