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Pending UFA Duchene wants to stay with Stars: 'Money is definitely not the No. 1'


Dallas Stars forward Matt Duchene is hoping to remain with the team heading into unrestricted free agency this off-season.

Speaking to The Sweep Spot on Sprotsradio 96.7FM/1310 the Ticket, Duchene said players are trying to solve a three-piece puzzle between hockey, family and money compensation every time they’re looking for a new deal. The 33-year-old would like to have that puzzle fit together in Dallas.

“For me, there’s definitely a one-two-three of importance in that. … But money is definitely not the No. 1 bucket and never has been for me," Duchene said. "And especially at this point in my career. I’ve been very blessed to have had some great contracts, and I have some good people working with that stuff. ..

“But you know, you want to fill each of those buckets and Dallas, absolutely, this year filled that for me. And we will be for sure talking and trying to make something happen. So I’m looking forward to that. I’m hoping we can figure it out quickly. And, you know, I can’t say enough good things about this organization.”

Duchene joined the Stars last July on a one-year, $3 million contract after being bought out by the Nashville Predators four years into a seven-year, $56 million deal that paid him $8 million annually.

He was effective in 80 games during the regular season, scoring 25 goals and adding 40 assists for 65 points. He also had another two goals and six points in 19 playoff games as the Stars were eliminated by the Edmonton Oilers in Game 6 of the Western Conference Final.

According to CapFriendly, the Stars have just over $16.2 million in cap space heading into the off-season with 13 players under contract. Duchene is one of several unrestricted free agents, joining Craig Smith, Jani Hakanpaa, Derrick Pouliot, Chris Tanev and Scott Wedgewood.

Ty Dellandrea, Sam Steel, Thomas Harley and Nils Lundkvist are also scheduled to become restricted free agents.

A veteran of 15 NHL seasons, Duchene spent the first nine years of his career with the Colorado Avalanche before a trade sent him to the Ottawa Senators during the 2017-18 season. The Sens dealt Duchene at the trade deadline the following year, sending him to the Columbus Blue Jackets. He played with the Jackets down the stretch of that season and signed his seven-year deal with the Predators in the summer of 2019.

The Haliburton, Ont., native has 341 NHL regular season goals and 468 assists for 809 points in 1,056 games since being selected third overall by the Avs in 2009.