NHL Rumors: Panthers Don't Want To Trade Duclair & Searching For Options

Anthony Duclair is nearing a return for the Florida Panthers, and with their horrible cap situation, they are in a tough spot. They don't want to trade Duclair, but may have to if they can't clear cap. Michael Russo says he'd be highly sought-after if available for trade.

The Panthers don't have many options. They would love to trade Sergei Bobrovsky since he is playing nowhere near his $10 million AAV contract. But the Panthers' goaltender has a no-move clause and it doesn't turn into a modified no-move clause until 2024-25. That would give the team more than enough room to work with and help them in a major way moving forward.

The Panthers are now under .500 this season and are eight points back of a playoff spot. Things have not gone the way they wanted this season after the blockbuster deal in the summer and they will have a tough time even making the playoffs. This could lead to some decisions like becoming sellers at the trade deadline. This may help, but not soon enough as Duclair will be back well before the deadline and they need cap space soon.

Patric Horqvist is an option seeing as he's a UFA after the season, except they may have to give up an asset to move him this far away from the deadline. His cap hit of $5.3 million would clear enough room to help the Panthers for the rest of the season. I think it would be worth it to be able to keep Duclair around for another season at $3 million AAV.

There are two other options to trade that have been brought up are Sam Reinhart and Sam Bennett. Both have been fairly effective this season and each have at least another year on their contracts as well. The ideal situation would be to keep Duclair and his very good cap hit and be able to trade someone like Bobrovsky or Hornqvist.

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