According to a report from Ottawa Senators insider Brent Wallace of TSN, the Sens will NOT qualify pending free agent Anthony Duclair and he'll head to unrestricted free agency Friday afternoon.
Check it out:
The interesting wrinkle in all of this is that Duclair is representing himself and has decided to forgo using a player agent. Interesting indeed...
The 25 year old Duclair will certainly be a hot commodity on the free agent market after his 23 goal and 40 point campaign with the Sens this past season. I have to say though... I'm a bit perplexed by all this. Why would Sens general manager Pierre Dorion not simply qualify Duclair and then try to negotiate in good faith with him next week? After all, if Duclair receives a qualifying offer ($1.65 million per season) then the Sens can retain his rights rather than have him walk away as an unrestricted free agent.
Maybe this is a case of Dorion knowing that Duclair won't be back so he elected to cut him loose so that he can find a better fit for himself elsewhere? But again, why not qualify him then and get an asset back in a trade? More to come on this strange development. Stay tuned.