5 Stars Playing Their Final Postseason in Dallas

Regardless of how the Dallas Stars' playoff run goes, offseason changes are inevitable. Here are five players who are likely experiencing their final postseason in the Lone Star State.
Matt Duchene is likely playing in his final postseason with the Stars.
Matt Duchene is likely playing in his final postseason with the Stars. / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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Dallas Stars fans can't wait to see how their team performs during the 2023-24 NHL playoffs. After all, the Stars are coming off their best regular-season performance in a long time, winning the Central Division while hitting the 50-win mark for the first time since the 2015-16 campaign.

The postseason is the most exciting time to be a hockey fan, but the Stars fanbase shouldn't grow too attached to certain players.

According to Cap Friendly, Dallas will head into the NHL offseason with only 12 players under contract and just over $18.3 million to spend. That means we're likely witnessing several players playing their final games with the franchise (whether that's due to trades or free agency).

With a slew of changes potentially on the horizon, here are five Stars who are likely as good as gone following the 2023-24 postseason.

1. C Matt Duchene

The Nashville Predators shocked the hockey world last offseason when they bought out Matt Duchene despite three years remaining on his contract. Fortunately, the rival Predators' loss wound up being the Stars' gain as they inked the veteran center to a one-year, $3 million deal.

Not only did Duchene meet expectations, but he completely smashed them since joining the franchise. The former Olympic gold medalist has been one of Dallas' best players throughout the year, amassing 25 goals and 39 assists through 79 games as of April 16. In fact, his 64 points on the year only trail Gustav Nyquist (75) as far as 2023 free-agent signings go.

But as great as Duchene has been, his time in Big D might be ending. He's slated to become an unrestricted free agent (UFA) and although Stars fans would love to see him re-signed, the Stars have several roster holes to fill and not enough money to fill them.

The only way that Duchene can seemingly return is if he takes a major pay cut, which I don't see happening. He just turned 33 years old and likely doesn't have too many big-time paydays ahead of him, meaning it's in his best interest to test the open market this summer. Considering how teams are always overpaying in the open market, there's likely at least one club that'll offer Duchene more money than the Stars can match.

In other words, enjoy Duchene's time with the Stars while you still can.