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Pavelski visits with Stars, Lightning, could be leaving Sharks: report

Captain can become unrestricted free agent July 1 @NHLdotcom

Joe Pavelski visited the Dallas Stars and Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday, The Athletic reported.

Pavelski, a 34-year-old forward who is San Jose Sharks captain, can become an unrestricted free agent July 1 and is likely to sign with a new team, the website said Friday. Players have been able to meet with other teams since Sunday.

"It's been fascinating and interesting so far,'' Pavelski said June 24. "We'll go check out a few teams. ... Maybe I come back. I don't know."

The Minnesota Wild have talked to Pavelski and were hoping he would visit Saturday, but he decided not to come, The Athletic reported.

Tweet from @RussoHockey: #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 optionHandful of Wild players have tried to sway Joe. Winning a Cup is his biggest motivation

Pavelski had 64 points (38 goals, 26 assists) in 75 regular-season games with the Sharks this season and nine points (four goals, five assists) in 13 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

Pavelski told The Mercury News on June 4 that he had talks with the Sharks about staying.

Video: Freidman gives updates on Panarin, Pavelski

"Things can change in a hurry," he told the newspaper. "The discussions are kind of going on right now and we'll see how they work out. But definitely optimistic. Definitely love it there and we'll see where it goes."

Selected by San Jose in the seventh round (No. 205) of the 2003 NHL Draft, Pavelski has 761 points (355 goals, 406 assists) in 963 regular-season games (13 seasons) and 100 points (48 goals, 52 assists) in 134 playoff games.


[RELATED: Couture hoping free agent Pavelski will return to Sharks]


Pavelski, who was named Sharks captain Oct. 5, 2015, is a five-time 30-goal scorer and a 10-time 20-goal scorer. He ranks fourth in games played, second in goals, third in assists and third in points in Sharks history.

"He's our captain. He's our leader. He's a really hard guy to replace, borderline irreplaceable," San Jose coach Peter DeBoer said June 21. "So I'm hopeful. I don't play a role in that. There's a lot of different things that go into those decisions both for him and the team, but I'm hopeful and I think he wants to be back, so that gives me optimism."

Sharks forward Joe Thornton also can become an unrestricted free agent. Defenseman Erik Karlsson avoided becoming a free agent by signing an eight-year contract with San Jose on June 17.

Tweet from @TheAthleticNHL: .@PierreVLeBrun Notebook: Matt Duchene and Joe Pavelski both made UFA visits on Wednesday, what's up with offer sheets and the details behind the Erik Haula trade:


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