The Florida Panthers are stuck under the salary cap and Anthony Duclair has paid the price.
The Panthers traded Duclair to the San Jose Sharks for another forward, Steven Lorentz, as well as a 2025 fifth-round pick.
Duclair, 27, is leaving the Panthers, with whom he has spent the past three seasons, the longest stint of what has been a checkered career so far. The Sharks will indeed represent his seventh team in the NHL.
He therefore leaves the Stanley Cup finalists and ends up in a team in full reconstruction. Sharks general manager Mike Grier said a top-two job awaits Duclair in Silicon Valley. “He scored very consistently in his later years,” Grier said. He has shown that he can play with a good tempo and is successful when paired with good players. »
Grier added that it’s “too early” to tell if Duclair’s association with the Sharks will extend beyond the upcoming season. “We’re going to get to know each other, we’re going to see if he likes it here and if he fits in with the frame. Timo Meier is gone, we have to find other markers and he can do it. »
It was in Florida that Duclair had his best moments in the NHL. In 2021-22, he had 31 goals and 27 assists. It was the first time in his career that he scored 30 goals and 50 points.
An Achilles tendon injury saw him play his first game of the season on February 24. In the playoffs, however, he appeared in 20 of the Panthers’ 21 games and scored 11 points.
Duclair has a contract valid for one more season, at a salary of three million dollars. Lorentz also has one last year of contract to go, but at a salary of 1.05 million.
Lorentz, 27, has 19 points (10 goals, 9 assists) in 80 games this season with the Sharks.
The Panthers will have some tough decisions to make over the next few months as defensemen Brandon Montour and Gustav Forsling, along with forward Sam Reinhart, enter the final year of their contracts.