NHL Contract Scores: Matt Duchene gives the Stars more firepower up front


Signs of Matt Duchene A one-year deal with an average annual value of $3 million with the Stars.

Duhachik: Sorry, but I didn’t believe it when I first heard it. It’s a fantastic value deal for a Stars team who already have plenty of scoring depth.

Think of it from Duchene’s perspective. At this point in the game, compensation probably isn’t his top priority. It is suitable. to his family. There are similarities in the city. For a chance to win the Stanley Cup. And on paper, with apologies to Colorado, the Stars look like a Central Division class. A great young goalkeeper in Jake Oettinger. Trophy-caliber defender Norris in Miro Heiskanen. Sexy top line, centered by Rob Hintz and featuring Jason Robertson.

Remember what Taylor Hall said when he first joined the Bruins? He just wanted to go to a team where he could fit in and maybe have a chance to win. I see that with Duchene as well. He could be a good piece on a team with a legitimate chance at winning the Stanley Cup. And at the end of the 2024 season, depending on how things develop, the two sides can either extend the relationship (which Boston did with Hall) or they can move on from each other.

Duchenne had 42 goals just two years ago. Bottom line: Dallas didn’t need to add another standout recording talent. But they did.

Contract degree: A +
appropriate grade: b +

Goldman: At this point in his career, Duchene was not a superstar forward. He’s not cut out to be the manBut it certainly could be one of the men, which it would be in Dallas. That’s what makes this suitable for the stars. And also the fact that they didn’t have to commit too much. Since the Duchene was bought by the Predators, no one had to spend to bring it in or increase the yield to keep the paycheck. The $3 million cap, which Dallas just signed, hit less than 50 percent of salary, anyway. And that’s for just one year, as opposed to the three he had left on the advance purchase contract.

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Duchene’s latest contract was a fulcrum, something few teams could afford after the salary cap didn’t grow as expected. The fact that he was paid like a top center but didn’t really shake it up at the position only hurt matters. So this is a new beginning that should come with different expectations. Duchene stars for who he is and what he’s up to at this point in his career.

Duchene posted the second best average of his career in 2021-22. While it’s no surprise that he was a tough track to follow (and a high shooting percentage to maintain), individually, he didn’t generate top scoring chances last season. He didn’t have much offensive support around him either. There is still some offensive potential here better placed, perhaps more in the middle six rather than the top line. That fits with what Dallas should be looking for this summer. The first product line is already in place, but everything else was a bit inconsistent. Stylistically, Duchene makes sense as a solution to that. Outside of the senior players, there wasn’t enough shooting in transition on this team. Defensively, there are a few other flaws, but perhaps a star structure can help mask that.

Contract degree: b +
appropriate grade: b +

(Photo: Harry How/Getty Images)

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