3 Stars With The Most To Prove In 2023-24

The Dallas Stars have a very good looking team this season and most definitely will be in contention for the Stanley Cup. Their lineup is deep in every area, but they aren't without players who are looking for better seasons in 2023-24. Let's take a look at three with the most to prove.

Matt Duchene

Matt Duchene was bought out by the Nashville Predators this offseason and the Stars jumped all over the chance to bring him in for very cheap. He doesn't have to prove anything contract-wise, but for his pride, he does. This was a first line center last season and throughout most of his career who was dumped. He only signed a one-year deal to prove on a very strong team in Dallas that he can still be a top contributor. He should be able to because no matter what, he will have string wingers to play with.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith has typically played at a 40-plus point pace and is a middle-six winger, but last season was tough for him. While seemingly the entire Boston Bruins were playing amazing, he struggled to contribute, didn't play a whole lot, and was a cap dump to the Washington Capitals as part of the big trade deadline deal between the two. He played more in Washington, but didn't do any better. He has a spot on the fourth line in Dallas this season. It is a fairly strong line that should be able to contribute. He needs to prove that he belongs in the NHL now at age 34.

Evgenii Dadonov

Evgenii Dadonov had a very tough run with the Montreal Canadiens last season. It seems as though he's very good with certain teams and struggles in other destinations. The Stars were a team that he played well on, so they kept him around at a cheap price. He will play on the wing in the middle-six and put up 15 points in 23 games with his new team after 18 points in 50 games with the Canadiens. Since he signed a two-year deal, he has to prove it wasn't luck and that he can continue to contribute at a strong rate.

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