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Florida Panthers add scoring by signing Anthony Duclair

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The Florida Panthers added some needed scoring Thursday by signing free agent forward Anthony Duclair to a one-year deal.

Rumors of Duclair to the Panthers popped up almost immediately after he and the Ottawa Senators parted ways in October.

Duclair, 25, was not tendered a qualifying offer by the Sens despite his scoring prowess last season in which he was Ottawa’s lone All-Star.

Florida GM Bill Zito was part of a management team in Columbus which gave Duclair a chance in 2018 in which he bounced back from a disappointing run with the Coyotes and Blackhawks.

Duclair scored 11 goals with 19 points in 53 games with the Jackets before being traded to Ottawa at the deadline that year.

In 66 games with the Sens last season, Duclair scored 23 goals with 40 points.

He did not sign during the initial free agency signing period — he is representing himself — and is the first real NHL signing in some time.

Duclair will get a one-year deal with Florida worth $1.7 million as the Panthers continue to load up on what they hope is high-reward, low-risk signings under Zito.

Aside from Duclair, Florida also added the likes of Carter Verhaeghe (Tampa Bay), Vinnie Hinostroza (Arizona), Alexander Wennberg (Columbus) and Ryan Lomberg (Calgary) to short-term deals this offseason.

Duclair’s scoring ability will be a welcome addition to a Florida team which has already lost Evgenii Dadonov and (presumably) Mike Hoffman.

“Anthony is a dynamic and highly skilled player who is capable of being a dependable offensive contributor for our team” Zito said in a statement Thursday night.

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“He possesses tremendous speed and goal scoring ability and earned an opportunity to be named an NHL All-Star last season.

“We’re excited to welcome Anthony and look forward to what he can add to our team.”

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Bob Elvin

This is a guy who knocked our socks of when we first saw him but then we were disappointed in his completellack of interest in defensive play. Five teams have been blinded by his skill set but nobody has yet been able to get him to come back.

Do you really think that Q can change that? If he does, and if that does not diminish his offense very much, the thinking is, as it was with five other teams already, that he would be an immense bargain. But we are not holding our collective breaths.

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