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NHL Rumours: Dallas Stars and Buffalo Sabres

NHL predictions; NHL rumours

It’s time for another batch of NHL rumours. We’re almost to the last four of the Stanley Cup playoffs, but there’s plenty to discuss. General managers are figuring out if some of their players will stay or go. The start of July 1 free agency is almost upon us, which makes the time crunch feel real. Some players might strike it rich when the summer gets into full swing. Today’s NHL rumours focus on the Dallas Stars and Buffalo Sabres.

All NHL rumours come from the original source and are subject to change.

NHL Rumours

Dallas Stars

Rumour: We take another look at Luke Fox’s top 12 unrestricted free agent list. This time the focus is forward Matt Duchene.

Analysis: Duchene has rejuvenated his career after being bought out by the Nashville Predators in the last off-season. The 33-year-old forward is seventh on Fox’s list of top UFAs. He scored 25 goals in a bounce-back campaign after four years in the Music City.

The Haliburton, Onatrio native has thrived as the team’s second-line centre. However, it’s helped that he’s got a more-veteran and complete lineup surrounding him. Duchene just potted the series-clinching goal that saw the Stars get past the Colorado Avalanche in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinal.

He’s a 1,000-plus game veteran and brings a wealth of knowledge to a lineup with a good mix of youth and experience. General Manager Jim Nill brought Duchene in at a bargain bin price of $3 million. The veteran is hoping to cash in this off-season and score maybe one more big payday while at nearing the end of his career.

However, there are a number of other players angling for a raise. Restricted free agents Ty Dellandrea and Sam Steel have earned a shot at new deals while veteran UFA Joe Pavelski has also made a case at another contract.

Nill will do his best to make a new deal for Duchene happen. However, there could be some demand for the career 341-goal scorer.

Buffalo Sabres

Rumour: The Fourth Period reports a number of Sabres players might hit the open market in the off-season after not being offered new deals. Some of these include Victor Olofsson, Zemgus Girgensons, Eric Robinson and Tyson Jost.

Analysis: General manager Kevyn Adams seems to be really trying to overhaul the roster once again this off-season. There’s a number of young players looking to make the jump from a talented AHL Rochester squad.

Adams is also trying to use some of the team’s cap space to make some moves. Buffalo has a projected $23.2 million in cap space and Adams wants to weaponize that. The Sabres GM wants to make some free agent signings and explore the trade market this off-season.

Buffalo has the league’s longest playoff drought and the pressure is on Adams to get this team back into the post-season. The overhaul means long-time players like Olofsson and Girgensons will likely not be back in Western New York.

Olofsson has show flashes of offence at times. However, he’s been more miss than hit in the last few seasons. A fresh start might be just the thing to get the Swedish forward back up and running.

Girgensons plays a strong defensive game and has been a staple on the bottom-six for Buffalo. There’s nothing fancy about the Latvian’s game, but the left wing does a good job on the back-end. It’ll be odd seeing him in a different jersey, but it’s probable that he won’t be back in the Queen City. He’ll probably land on his feet somewhere, though.

Robinson and Jost didn’t get consistent time in the lineup. A change of scenery will also probably benefit these two players.

Main photo by: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports


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