Dallas Stars Rumors: Latest Updates On Joe Pavelski, Mats Zuccarello

With July 1 on the horizon, it’s a prime time in the 2019 offseason for rumors to begin surfacing. And with the Dallas Stars involved in a handful of them, what’s the latest word on how their first day of Free Agency may fare?

The Dallas Stars have another important and potentially busy first day of free agency to look forward to on July 1, 2019.

With the memories of a surprising Stanley Cup Playoffs run that ended one goal short of a trip to the Western Conference Finals still lingering, and the need for a handful of changes on the roster to push the team into contending territory, it looks as though Free Agency could once again serve as a potential solution to the team’s needs.

It’s why Stars fans have been speculating about which free agents the team should add over the past six weeks. It’s why July 1 is always an exciting time for the Stars and the rest of the NHL. And it’s why Dallas has been linked to a handful of pending UFAs over the past few weeks.

But which of those pending UFAs might land in Dallas, and which ones are likely to fall elsewhere on the NHL map when the signing period opens on July 1?

Mats Zuccarello

The first and most prominent name in the Stars’ corner has been the same name since May 9, 2019 when Dallas officially entered the 2019 offseason, being Mats Zuccarello. The forward created an instant spark in the Stars lineup after being traded to the team on Feb. 23 and was arguably their best player during the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

But after six weeks of negotiating as a pending UFA, the two sides couldn’t come to an agreement and Zuccarello began talking to other teams on June 23.

And while the door is still open for negotiations between the Zuccarello and the Stars, here’s the rumors and updates around the forward.

Make sure to recognize that this tweet was from five days ago. A lot can change in five days. Perhaps the Stars have already circled back around, or they could still be on the outside track. Needless to say, he has generated interest from a number of teams.

This could be an interesting fit. With the expectation being that the Blue Jackets will lose Artemi Panarin and Matt Duchene via the free agency market on Monday, the need for veteran a forward that packs an offensive punch is there. Not to mention that Columbus will have a ton of cap space to spend.

The Sabres would be another intriguing landing spot for Zuccarello and could very well help turn them into a playoff contender. With Jeff Skinner locked up long term, a new head coach, and plenty of young talent, the Sabres look poised to take the next step. Zuccarello could help in pushing them forward.

Joe Pavelski

With Zuccarello testing the market, GM Jim Nill began scanning the market for potential replacements this week. And while fans are tossing around a handful of names, there’s one that has generated significant traction, being Joe Pavelski.

The Dallas Stars hosted Pavelski on a visit on Wednesday morning at their practice facility in Frisco and also drove him around the city to give him a better feel of what it could offer he and his family. It’s been reported that the meeting went well and that Nill and the organization left a favorable impression on the 34-year-old forward before he departed for another visit with the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Here’s the latest on no. 8.

After signing defenseman Erik Karlsson to a massive extension that carries an AAV of $11.5 million, the Sharks find themselves in a bit of a cap crunch as July 1 approaches. They only have seven forwards under contract and juts under $15 million in cap space. With Pavelski posting a 38-goal, 64-point season in 2018-19, he’s due for a decent raise that could draw an AAV close to $7 million. As a result, it doesn’t seem as though there is enough space left for the veteran captain.

There were reports that Pavelski received interest from a double-digit number of teams. The fact that he only visited Dallas and Tampa Bay while declining visits to teams like Minnesota and Columbus seems to play in favor of the Stars and Lightning.

And while there was a report earlier on Saturday morning that the Lightning were Pavelski’s top choice, a Saturday night report from Elliotte Friedman looks to be favoring Dallas as his landing spot.

In a quick story on Sportsnet that posted less than an hour ago, Friedman had this to say:

“Over the last 24 hours, there were plenty of rumours Tampa Bay was seeing what it needed to do to move space for Joe Pavelski. But, word late Saturday afternoon was Pavelski initiated talks with Dallas to be his second NHL home.” – Elliotte Friedman, Sportsnet

And while there’s no point in debating between two different rumors, Friedman is a trusted NHL source. Just something to keep in mind.

With less than 48 hours separating the NHL from the opening of Free Agency, there’s any number of ways that the Dallas Stars could go.