Anthony Duclair: Are The Panthers Forced To Trade Him?
The Florida Panthers are facing a serious cap crunch and no one seems to be talking about it. Anthony Duclair is currently recovering from a torn Achilles that he suffered on July 2nd and is expected to return sometime in the new year. The only problem is, Florida has zero dollars to activate him from LTIR.
The great Elliotte Friedman included a very interesting snippet of Duclair in his latest column:
“Some situations to watch: First, Florida. Anthony Duclair is on the road to recovery and the Panthers — twice forced to play with 17 skaters due to their cap crunch — must find room. Duclair’s salary is $3 million, so that’s the figure that must be cleared, assuming (hopefully) the Panthers remain otherwise healthy.”
Maybe someone gets hurt for the rest of the season but there is no guarantee of that. As currently constructed, the Panthers have two options. Either trade Duclair or get creative and deal someone else on the roster so you can active him.
On a bit of a side note, that second option is very much in play. Hello… Erik Karlsson? Get San Jose to retain money and ship Sergei Bobrovsky to the Sharks. That move right there could open the door for a Duclair return depending on how much money the Sharks retain.
If Florida trades Duclair, could a team like Vegas jump in? They have already been on record for wanting to add another winger (Link. Don’t click it’s the Athletic). Duclair comes with a cheap $3 million cap hit and could be the perfect fit. Sending Laurent Brossoit back in return would get you close to what is needed to get the deal done.
The New York Rangers are another team that could use another winger and they know Duclair well. Maybe that’s a fit too. However, Florida could be interesting in sending Duclair to the Western Conference so he doesn’t become a thorn in their side all year.
Duclair, 27, is arguably one of the fastest wingers in the sport and is coming off a 58 point season a year ago. He’s a guy that a number of contenders are going to inquire about.
With Anthony Duclair set to return around Christmas time, the clock is ticking on a trade. Be ready for it. It’s coming.