After a ‘rough year’ for Duclair, Coyotes pursue short-term deal

Cam Tucker
NBC Sports

It’s been an up-and-down two seasons for Anthony Duclair in Arizona.

In 2015-16, he scored 20 goals. He had 44 points. He hit those marks while at the age of 20, a few months removed from Arizona acquiring him as a key and youthful component in the Keith Yandle trade two years ago.

But that impressive production dipped last season to just five goals and 15 points in 58 games with Arizona, and Duclair was eventually sent to the minors for more than a month to re-discover his scoring capabilities.

There were trade rumors. He was a healthy scratch from the Coyotes lineup at certain times.

Duclair is now a restricted free agent, following the completion of his entry-level contract that paid him $832,500 last season, per CapFriendly.

The Coyotes, according to AZCentral Sports, are seeking a short-term deal of only one or two years for the now 21-year-old forward.

“That’s just the reality of the situation,” said Coyotes general manager John Chayka. “I like ‘Duke’ as a player a lot, as a person a lot, but he had a rough year. I think it’s more just about getting him back on the horse, getting him going. For both the team and the player, short-term is the best.”

In addition to trying to get Duclair signed to a new deal, the Coyotes and fellow restricted free agent Jordan Martinook have a player-elected arbitration hearing scheduled for July 26.

It will be interesting to see what impact a new coach, Rick Tocchet, has on Duclair’s play in the upcoming season.

He expressed the importance of creativity with his players, which may help a player like Duclair regain his form from only two seasons ago.


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