Breaking: Stars closing in on deal to sign veteran forward with $3M pact in free agency

Breaking: Stars closing in on deal to sign veteran forward with $3M pact in free agency

Matt Duchene expressed his desire to stay in Texas for the upcoming season on Sportsradio 96.7FM/1310 the Ticket’s “The Sweep Spot” show. The veteran forward stated that “money is definitely not the No. 1 bucket,” meaning he would accept a discount to sign an extension with the Stars.

According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, Dallas is considering re-signing Duchene and defenseman Chris Tanev, who are set to become unrestricted free agents next month.

Last season, Duchene, 33, scored 25 goals and 65 points in 80 games for the Stars after signing a one-year, $3 million contract in free agency. He was a surprise addition to the open market after the Predators bought out the last three seasons of his seven-year, $56 million deal.

The 2009 third-round pick will receive a solid salary from Nashville until 2029, so it’s understandable that he’d be especially eager to accept a discount at this point in his career. Duchene reached 1,000 games this season, but Dallas lost to Edmonton in this year’s Western Conference Final, denying him his first Stanley Cup Final appearance.

Still, even a reduced raise from Duchene’s previous $3 million cap hit may be difficult for Dallas to accept. According to CapFriendly, the team enters the summer with $16.25 million in anticipated cap space but 10 unfilled roster spots.

He is still a vital element and should be kept if possible. Duchene, who has scored 50 points in the past three seasons, might help replace Joe Pavelski, who is set to retire and not return to the team.

Duchene’s increased minutes and the development of Wyatt Johnston and Logan Stankoven should help replace Pavelski’s 67 points from last season.

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