By most accounts, the Ottawa Senators are a team that will be sellers at this year’s NHL Trade Deadline. Far down the Eastern Conference standings with only 36 points, any assets that need to be re-signed or players with value should be shopped in an effort to stockpile prospects and picks for the future.
Anthony Duclair is the type of player who fits that mold to a tee.
Except, something else seems to be going on when it comes to Duclair. The Ottawa Senators may be rebuilding, but reports are that the team sees him as part of the future, especially considering how much he’s produced this season.
Duclair Has Turned His Career Around
To say Duclair has done a complete 180-degree turn on his NHL career would be an understatement. A player who was let go from teams like Chicago, Philadelphia, Columbus and Arizona, it appeared he was on his last legs as an NHL forward. But, in Ottawa, he’s found another gear, this season posting 21 goals in 38 games.
Darren Dreger of TSN is reporting that the Senators believe this is more an indication of what Duclair is and can do. As such, while the smart money would be to trade Duclair and sell high, Dreger explained:
I supposed there could be the threat of trade–again the Ottawa Senators are still very much in a rebuild format, so they could dangle Anthony Duclair out there. But again, given the offensive production of Anthony Duclair this year it makes sense that the Ottawa Senators will do everything they can up to January 1st, maybe soon after January 1st, to get a contract done.
What Would A New Duclair Deal Look Like?
Dreger suggests that a three-year contract extension could work for both sides. For Duclair, this would likely be seen as a home run of sorts.
Considering he was inches away from staying in the league, the kind of job security a three-year extension would offer is tremendous. And, should this season be an anomaly, the Senators are taking all the risk here.
If Duclair can reproduce these numbers, a three-year pact also allows him to capitalize on free agency in short order. By only selling one year of his unrestricted free agency eligibility, Duclair can still maximize his value at a young age.
The win her for Ottawa would be if the team can get him on a three-year deal at a good number. Currently, Duclair makes $1.65 million so his production is coming at a huge value to the team. But, if they re-sign him based on a possible 30-goal season and he doesn’t produce, this contract could be a tricky one to move down the road considering his history.