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Flames Free Agent Target: Anthony Duclair

Duclair wasn’t extended a QO from Chicago

NHL: Chicago Blackhawks at Arizona Coyotes Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Flames have somewhat bolstered their forward core by upgrading Micheal Ferland to Elias Lindholm but there are still some moves to be made. Brad Treliving mentioned last week that the Flames would be looking at some of the players who weren’t big names heading into free agency.

Anthony Duclair is the newest name on the block after the Chicago Blackhawks chose to not give him a qualifying offer today.

Duclair is an interesting player in that his first full NHL season went really well when he was the Arizona Coyotes where he put up 20 goals and 44 points in 81 games. The following year he struggled and only put up 15 points in 58 games and spent some time in the AHL with the Tuscon Roadrunners.

His game started to pick up again this past year with the Coyotes where he had 15 points in 33 games, and then he was dealt to Chicago where he had 8 points in 23 games the rest of the year.

Duclair has a connection to Calgary through Don Maloney who is currently the Flames VP of Hockey Operations. Maloney had been the Coyotes GM who made the trade to acquire Duclair from the Rangers in 2015. He also played with Curtis Lazar at the 2015 World Juniors but that’s much more insignificant.

Duclair has played at both left and right wing in the NHL and would provide the Flames some flexibility in the top nine. When next season starts he’ll be 23 years old so he also fits into the age window of the Flames core.

He’s shown some offensive ability over the years and has been pretty reliable in the defensive zone. He could fit in with Mark Jankowski and Sam Bennett on the third line or even be a better depth option on the fourth line for the Flames.

The upside on signing Duclair is that he would likely come very cheap and on a one-year contract which would allow the Flames to gauge what kind of player he is. Either way he strikes me as a low-risk high-reward type signing and perhaps he’ll be worth a look on July 1.

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