Pavelski chose Stars over Lightning due to goalies, defensive structure
Icon Sportswire / Getty

Joe Pavelski says the Dallas Stars' style of play was a major reason he signed with them instead of the Tampa Bay Lightning in free agency last summer.

"I liked the goalies here," Pavelski told reporters Friday. "I liked the structure defensively. They played a lot of one-goal games (and) they didn't give up a lot of goals, and I always believe ... you need that, especially in the playoffs, to find those types of wins. So that was one of the reasons I kind of identified them, and there's also some high-end talent on this team as well."

The 36-year-old inked a three-year, $21-million contract with the Stars on July 1, 2019 after meeting in-person with representatives of both Dallas and Tampa Bay, the two clubs now facing off in the Stanley Cup Final.

On Thursday, Pavelski told The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun there were important off-ice considerations that factored into his decision as well.

“There were different things, hockey was one of the big ones obviously, but with (my son) Nate and his hockey and schooling, and (my wife) Sarah and I have been on the West Coast for 13 years, so if there was an option to get closer to home (Madison, Wisconsin), maybe in the same time zone, where the games don’t start at 9:30 every night for the parents, just try to experience something closer to home," the veteran forward said.

"So, can you get a team that you believe can contend, and then hope all the other boxes line up," he added. "We definitely had a few good options with good teams and places we could live in."

Before joining the Stars, Pavelski spent his entire 13-year career with the San Jose Sharks, including serving as captain over the final four seasons of his tenure.

Dallas boasted the NHL's second-best goals against per game rate during the regular season, thanks in large part to netminders Ben Bishop and Anton Khudobin, as well as blue-liners Miro Heiskanen and John Klingberg.

Pavelski entered the Cup Final tied for the league lead among players still competing in 2019-20 with nine goals in 21 playoff games. He produced 14 goals and 31 points in 67 regular-season games in his first campaign with the Stars.

Comments
Pavelski chose Stars over Lightning due to goalies, defensive structure
  Got something to say? Leave a comment below!
Daily Newsletter
Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox