Anthony Duclair was in a yellow no-contact jersey for the Florida Panthers on Sunday. Reports are that he could shed that this week and is finally nearing an on-ice return for the team as they do their best to avoid missing the playoffs after being the best regular-season team in the NHL in 2021-22. However, sitting fifth in the Wild Card standings in the Eastern Conference and with salary cap issues facing the organization, trade talk will inevitably pick up.

There has been speculation the Panthers might shop names like Sam Reinhart or Sam Bennett to shake up the core and make a desperate move. Perhaps the more logical option is to trade Duclair, who is making $3 million, solves some of their cap issues, is a UFA at the end of the 2023-24 season, and would garner interest around the NHL if teams were confident his injuries weren’t going to plague him for the rest of this season.

Let’s take a look at some teams that might give Duclair a longer look.

The Calgary Flames Need Scoring

The Flames are working hard to add to their roster and need a top-six scorer. A healthy Duclair certainly qualifies and his 31 goals last season have to be looking awfully attractive. Not only that, he’s got experience playing with Jonathan Huberdeau, who is now a Flame after a blockbuster trade saw two Panthers come in and Matthew Tkachuk wind up in Florida.

The Flames are looking for players with term on their deals. Again, Duclair qualifies here. With one more season on his contract, he might make a nice fit in Calgary where the team has a need for what he brings and has the cap room to add his contract. Bringing back Bennett is probably not the play and adding Reinhart might be too pricey an option.


New Jersey Devils Need a Backup Plan for Meier

Another team looking for scoring, the Devils have been linked to Timo Meier. He’s probably the most expensive option on the market and the Devils would need to look at his qualifying offer of $10 million and try to figure out what to do moving forward. With other contracts coming, specifically a lucrative one for Jesper Bratt, perhaps GM Tom Fitzgerald would prefer to look at a less expensive option if the price for Meier is too high.

The acquisition cost on Duclair won’t be massive, especially if the Panthers lose a few more games and find themselves out of the race and sellers.