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Anthony Duclair Back in South Florida, Happy for the Panthers



Anthony duclair
Anthony Duclair behind the bench at the IceDen in Coral Springs during the final day of his youth hockey camp on Thursday afternoon. // Photo @GeorgeRichards

CORAL SPRINGS — Anthony Duclair leaned up against a wall leading to what used to be his locker room at the IceDen, plenty of remnants of the former inhabitants of this space still throughout.

Large Florida Panthers decals are still in place at the team’s former training facility, the wall of framed jerseys and team photos from throughout the years still decorating the walls.

Duclair does not play for the Panthers anymore, and, they do not play here anymore, either, having packed up most of their stuff and moved it east to Fort Lauderdale.

He was at the IceDen hosting his second annual youth development camp, a weeklong event in which participation among youth players more than doubled from last year.

The Anthony Duclair Foundation, which was founded at a party during All-Star festivities in Fort Lauderdale in 2022, has been doing lots of good work in this community, among others.

A second camp, which helps youth players from all sorts of different background, will be held later next month in Montreal.

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When talking about the kids he is helping — the synthetic ice rink his foundation is building at Boyd Anderson High School should be ready in time for the start of school, and a second may be soon be coming to Sunrise — Duclair lights up.

“Yeah, it has been great. It has been fun,’’ Duclair said. “It really has been awesome.’’

Duclair says one of the most rewarding parts of this camp is seeing the kids come back from last year.

“We have some familiar faces from last year, so keeping track of their progression is nice,’’ Duclair said.

“It is great to see these kids from all different races and ethnicities come together and be one team. We preach unity because that is what my parents taught me, and I try to pass that to them. This is about becoming a better hockey player, but more than that, a better person.”

At last year’s camp, Duclair had to deal with the trade rumors which were swirling around him.

They turned out to have some validity to them, as he was dealt to San Jose for Steven Lorentz in a move to help the Panthers clear out some cap space in order to sign Evan Rodrigues.

Duclair faced the Panthers twice with the Sharks — then was traded at the deadline to the Lightning where he got to see his friends from South Florida a couple more times.

The two teams met in the first round of the playoffs, with Florida winning in 5.

If you were expecting Duclair to be bitter about seeing the Panthers win the Stanley Cup earlier this week, well, you do not know Anthony Duclair.

“I still have a lot of buddies on that team, guys I consider brothers,” Duclair said. “Seeing them hoist the Cup, I was just very happy for them.

“I know there are a lot of good people in this organization here who deserve that. I cannot speak highly enough of my time with the Panthers and how I was treated here. 

“For myself, I am super-excited for them and would have loved to be there. They were the best team all year and they deserved it. The experience of making it to the Stanley Cup Final last year really helped push them over the edge this year.’’

Duclair is currently a free agent, and, with the success he had with the Panthers and Lightning the past couple of seasons, is expected to be with a new team soon.

Of course, he could return to the Panthers, Sharks, or Lightning — stranger things have certainly happened.

“Wherever I end up, I think it will be a great opportunity for me,’’ he said. “I am looking forward to next week and the process that entails. It may be a quick process; it might be a long one. You never know.”

For More FHN Coverage of the Stanley Cup Champion Florida Panthers:

  • Stanley Cup Championship Parade, Fort Lauderdale: Sunday, 11 a.m.
  • NHL Draft, Las Vegas: Friday-Saturday
  • NHL Free Agency: Monday
  • Florida Panthers Development Camp, Fort Lauderdale: Early July
  • Florida Panthers Training Camp, Fort Lauderdale: Mid-September
  • Florida Panthers Preseason: Sept. 22-Oct. 5
  • Florida Panthers Opening Night/Banner Unveiling: TBA

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I’m guessing he gets 4 to 4.5 million a year for three years, Somewhere. Unless Ekblad or BOB miraculously announce Their retirement, we couldn’t possibly afford him. Besides, I’m not sure Anthony would be as affective playing Maurice’s defense first system. Now in a system like coach Q implemented, the guys a for sure thirty goal scorer.

Last edited 16 days ago by surveyjay

sounds like BZ is trying to get anyone to take Ek of his books so he has more flexibility

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