matt duchene free agent

Matt Duchene signed a one-year, $3 million contract to remain with the Dallas Stars on Monday.

The 33-year-old forward had 65 points (25 goals, 40 assists) in 80 regular-season games for the Dallas Stars last season, his first with the team after signing a one-year contract on July 1, 2023, the same day he had the final three seasons of his seven-year, $56 million contract ($8 million average annual value) bought out by the Nashville Predators.

"Matt was a tremendous addition to our team and played an integral role in our success last season," general manager Jim Nill said. "He fit in seamlessly, provided veteran leadership and fortified our group of forwards. We're thrilled to have him back in Dallas for another season."

Duchene had six points (two goals, four assists) in 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games last season, including scoring the goal in double overtime of Game 6 of the Western Conference Second Round to eliminate the Colorado Avalanche.

The Stars lost the conference final to the Edmonton Oilers in six games.

"I'd love to (stay). Yeah absolutely," Duchene said June 4. "It's kind of funny, of all the years I've lost out in the playoffs, this is easily the most disappointing and it feels almost like the season was a failure but it's not really. It's the total opposite. ... It was a great experience being here this year. If this group is able to stay together, which it looks like it should be able to, this is a great situation, absolutely."

The No. 3 pick by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2009 NHL Draft, Duchene has 809 points (341 goals, 468 assists) in 1,056 regular-season games for the Stars, Avalanche, Ottawa Senators, Columbus Blue Jackets and Predators and 31 points (12 goals, 19 assists) in 51 playoff games.

Duchene was one of six players the Stars signed on Monday. 

Defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin signed a three-year, $9.75 million contract ($3.25 M AAV). The 30-year-old started last season with the Anaheim Ducks and was traded to to the Toronto Maple Leafs as part of a three-way trade with the Carolina Hurricanes on Feb. 29. Lyubushkin (6-foot-2, 200 pounds) had eight points (all assists) in 74 games last season, and three assists in seven playoff games. 

In 353 regular-season games with the Arizona Coyotes, Maple Leafs, Buffalo Sabres and Ducks, he has 47 points (five goals, 42 assists), averaging 15:48 time on ice per game. 

"Ilya brings experience and toughness to our group," said Nill. "He's a big, physical right-shot defenseman who excels on the penalty kill. We're excited to have him under contract for the next three seasons."

Defenseman Brendan Smith signed a 1-year, $1 million contract. He had 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 63 games with the New Jersey Devils last season and has 138 points (38 goals, 100 assists) in 694 regular-season games with the Detroit Red Wings, New York Rangers, Carolina Hurricanes and New Jersey Devils. 

"Brendan gives us an added layer of depth and experience on defense," Nill said. "As a veteran of nearly 700 NHL games, he knows what it takes to be successful at this level. His leadership will also be invaluable to the group. We're happy to have him under contract for the upcoming season." 

Goalie Casey DeSmith signed a three-year, $3 million contract ($1 milllion AAV) to be the backup to Jake Oettinger.  He was 27-12-9 with a 2.89 goals-against average and .896 save percentage for the Vancouver Canucks last season, and is 70-53-21 in 142 career NHL games with the Pittsburgh Penguins and Canucks. 

The Stars also re-signed defenseman Nils Lundkvist to a one-year, $1.25 million contract. He played in 23 games with Dallas last season, setting NHL career highs in assists (17), points (19) and plus-minus (plus-13). He had one assist in 12 Stanley Cup Playoff games. He has 39 points (nine goals, 30 assists) in 144 regular-season games with the New York Rangers and Dallas. 

Also, forward Sam Steel re-signed with Dallas on a one-year, $1.25 million contract. He had 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in 77 games with Dallas last season, and five points (one goal, four assists) in 19 playoff games. 

“Sam was an integral member of our team during the regular season and playoffs," said Nill. "He's a player we can trust in any situation. We're looking forward to bringing him back for another season in Dallas."

He has 117 points (43 goals, 74 asssists) in 339 NHL regular-season games with the Minnesota Wild, Ducks and Stars.

Related Content