Nov 17, 2016; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; Arizona Coyotes forward Anthony Duclair (10) warms up against the Vancouver Canucks during the first period at Rogers Arena. The Vancouver Canucks won in overtime 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports
To say that Arizona Coyotes forward Anthony Duclair has experienced a sophomore slump would probably be an understatement. What will it take to get him going again?
The Arizona Coyotes have a decision to make.
With two goal and four assists through 31 games, it’s fair to say that Anthony Duclair probably wouldn’t mind a do-over.
Unfortunately, however, there is no reset button in the NHL.
A combination of bad luck, inconsistent play, and low ice time have brought the Duke to this point. Now the challenge is up to get him out of the slump.
And get him out the Coyotes must if they want him to be a key piece of the team’s future.
Apart from trading him (if all else fails) the Coyotes have two options to bring him back up to speed.
While he and Duclair are both right wings, maybe Duke could be tried at left wing to see if he and Vrby have any chemistry. Throw in Martin Hanzal at center to win face-offs and this could be a very solid possession line.
This would also correlate to an increase in overall ice time.
If for some reason the Arizona Coyotes can’t or won’t give Duclair more ice time, maybe he needs to ride the bus for a while.
The Tucson Roadrunners are playing strong hockey, currently boasting a 14-6-3 record.
Adding Ducair’s talent to the mix would be fun to watch, and might be just the confidence boost he needs.
Getting sent to the AHL could be seen as a demotion, but it shouldn’t.
Plenty of current NHL stars spent some time developing in the AHL, a place Duclair has never even played. Among those players are Cam Atkinson, Nikita Kucherov, and Corey Perry (three of the top 10 scoring forwards in the league right now).
It would be a perfect opportunity for Duclair to play a lot of quality minutes and establish himself as a leader and difference maker for a team, much like his days playing junior hockey.