How often is a young 22-year-old forward who already has a 20 goal season under his belt available on the trade market? The answer is very rarely. So why then are the Arizona Coyotes having such a hard time trading Anthony Duclair?
Earlier this week rumors broke that the Coyotes were actively shopping the talented forward, and on Friday Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman confirmed that Duclair had actually demanded the trade near the start of the current National Hockey League season.
“I know the story came out that he’d requested a trade yesterday, but there were rumors he’d been out there for a week or two and I think he actually demanded the trade in November,” said Friedman as per Fanrag's Chris Nichols.
The surprising thing here is that there doesn't seem to be much of a market for Duclair, and that may be due to the stigma that currently surrounds the Coyotes organization. Friedman believes that there are teams around the league that question the work ethic of players in that locker room.
"I think the knock on him – and it’s been the knock on a few guys in Arizona since Rick Tocchet has gone there – is that some of these guys he doesn’t think work very hard. So I think teams are kind of holding that against him, holding that against the Coyotes."
It's hard to blame a young 22-year-old for not being fully motivated to play on a team that has largely been the laughing stock of the NHL for the past several years. It gets even harder when you consider the fact that the Coyotes appear to still be a very long way away from building a team that can consistently compete for at least a playoff spot.
That being said, it still remains surprising that there has been no team willing to gamble on Duclair, one would think that a change of scene could do wonders for his motivation. It becomes even more surprising when you consider the fact that TSN insider Darren Dreger believes that the Coyotes would be willing to part ways for him at a relatively low cost.
“I’m told that Arizona is looking for a like player, so in that age category, and maybe a player who has underachieved with his organization and like Anthony Duclair, wants and needs a fresh start," said Dreger on Friday. "So it might be a player like that, or I also heard Arizona would happily take a draft pick, hoping for as high as a second-round pick."
Despite the knock on his work ethic Duclair has 8 goals and 6 assists for 14 total points in 32 games this season, and he's doing it on one of the worst teams in the league. Friedman believes the Flames may have had interest but a deal has yet to materialize.
“One team I really thought might look at him is Calgary. Don Maloney was the guy who acquired him as GM of the Coyotes from the Rangers in the Keith Yandle deal. But I’ve heard that Calgary just hasn’t shown a lot of interest.
“So right now the interest in Duclair around the league is not very high.”
Would you want your team to gamble on him? Especially if it's only going to cost you a 2nd round draft choice? Or is the criticism around Duclair justified making even a 2nd rounder too high a price to pay?