The Florida Panthers have re-signed pending free agent Anthony Duclair to a three year contract worth $3 million per season.
Check it out:
"Anthony brought great speed and skill to our club this season," said Panthers GM Bill Zito in an official announcement. "We look forward to seeing him continue to be a creative playmaker for us on the ice and a valuable member of our community. We are thrilled to have him as a part of the Panthers family for years to come."
You may recall that Duclair made headlines last season after first firing his agent and then turning down a three year deal worth $12.75 million from the Ottawa Senators. Duclair made the poor decision to represent himself in contract negotiations and ended up with just a one year, $1.7 million offer from the Panthers. In effect, Duclair cost himself more than $10 million because of his decisions. Ouch.
Duclair had his long-awaited breakout season with the Ottawa Senators last season, putting up 23 goals and 40 points in 66 games. Senators GM Pierre Dorion reportedly tried to negotiate a long-term deal with Duclair, but the 25 year old forward was reportedly insulted by the $12.75 million offer on the table. Weeks later he signed with the Panthers where, frankly, he proved his worth. He put up a respectable 10 goals and 32 points in 43 games with the Panthers in 2020-21 and looked to be a good fit in the team's top-six forward group. Sure he doesn't have the poise of a player like Jonathan Huberdeau or the two-way ability of a player like Sasha Barkov, but he's an excellent utility player who is adept at forechecking, working pucks to the front of the net and creating opportunities for his linemates. In other words, he's the perfect complimentary player to more offensively skilled players and in Florida he looks to have found a perfect fit.
Frankly, I'm happy the Duclair seems to have found a home and that he's made some of the money that he banked on earning last offseason. It's easy to forget that he's still just 25 years old given that he's been in the league since he was a teenager and that he's now on his sixth NHL team. Again, here's hoping that he has now found his home.