Matt Duchene has huge chip on his shoulder!

Extra motivation for the veteran forward for the upcoming season:



On the last buyout day this offseason, Matt Duchene was let go by the Nashville Predators and while he doesn’t take it personally, he will be “absolutely” using it as motivation heading into the new season with his new team, the Dallas Stars.

“When a team tells you they don’t want you anymore, it’s tough, right?” he revealed on Thursday during his introductory presser in Dallas. “It’s business, and the game is the business, but at the same time, the game is who we are as people. I’ve been a hockey player since I was two years old; that’s how I identify.”

It was quite the news when the Predators bought out the last three seasons of Duchene’s seven-year, $56-million contract. He therefore became an unexpected free agent on July 1, and signed a one-year, $3-million pact with the Stars. Duchene mentioned how thrilled he was to join a top contender in a “win right away” mode as Dallas has reached the postseason in four of the last five campaigns, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final in 2020 and making it to the conference finals this past May.

“I haven’t had too many (opportunities) in my career. I’ve been to the second round once,” he said. “That’s something that’s frustrating me beyond I can explain, just to not have that really good taste.

"To be part of this team that’s been kind of a perennial deep-in-the-playoffs-type team … it’s really exciting to come in to.”

Duchene will have extra motivation to prove to Nashville it was wrong to buy out the rest of his contract. Last season, he put up 22 goals and 56 points in 71 contests, but the Predators missed out on the postseason for the first time since 2013-14.

Duchene appears confident that he will play in the playoffs in 2023-24 and the extra motivation will only drive him to make it there.

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