Forward Anthony Duclair became an unrestricted free agent after the Ottawa Senators didn’t extend him a qualifying offer before the deadline. The Sens did offer Duclair a raise but an agreement couldn’t be reached with the 25-year-old, who is representing himself. Most pundits believe it was a huge mistake, especially since team insider Brent Wallace revealed on the air of Ottawa’s TSN 1200 that the offer that Duclair turned down from the Senators was for three years and for the total amount of $12.75 millions, for an average annual value of $4.25 million.
Ever since he decided to test the market, there have been no other offer and now Sportsnet believes Duclair might be forced to go back, begging the Senators to revisit their offer, or be kind enough to put something else on the table.
Asked about Duclair during a Hockey Central interview last month , Senators GM Pierre Dorion indicated the door is not closed for a return, though we bet negotiations will be in order and tougher on the player…
“We really like Anthony. He had a great season for us last year. We offered him a substantial raise … he chose not to accept it, wanted to test the free agency waters,” he Dorion explained then.
“We’ve kept great contact, talked almost every second or third day since the process started. He chose to go, and we’re always keeping the door open, but he would have to understand what his role would be. But we do like him as a human being and a hockey player.”
It sounds like the Senators would be willing to talk again with Duclair, who clearly does not have any other choice at the moment.
The thing is - and I have no clue if Duclair will be able do this - the forward will need to deflate his ego and be open to whatever the Senators can now offer him with the recent additions to their roster.
Sure, we can understand that Duclair is hoping to cash in on his latest performances, he who reached the 40-point mark for the second time in his career last season while scoring a career-high 23 goals. He earned $1.65 million on a one-year contract and is seeking way too much money. It might not be the best to represent himself on the market or else, we believe he would have found a taker by now.
Most teams are aware however that Duclair can be quite inconsistent and has often be called out for his attitude off the ice. His work ethic has always been criticized since the day he was drafted, which is why he fell to pick No. 80 in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Let’s not forget he is on his sixth team in just his seventh year in the league! This is surely a warning sign for teams who might have looked into the possibility of adding him to their lineup, but decided to back out.
Could he be back in a Senators’ jersey next season?
Source: Sportsnet · Photo Credit: Zuma Press