Sharks Pull Surprising Move With Anthony Duclair

When the San Jose Sharks took the ice in Denver on Sunday for their game against the Colorado Avalanche, Anthony Duclair was not among the participants. No, he wasn't injured or sick. He was a healthy scratch. And that's despite a stretch that's seen him notch six points in his last seven games after a slow start to the season. 

But according to head coach David Quinn, per The Mercury News, it's not offensive concerns that led him to bench the pending UFA. 

"He’s been productive offensively, but there are other areas of his game that we all want him to be a little bit better in, and sometimes sitting above and watching kind of gives (you) a chance to press reset and get back at it.”

Turns out that one glaring error in Friday night's game, while maybe not the sole reason, brought attention to those "other areas of his game" that Quinn has been concerned about. With just four minutes to play, the Sharks had what they thought was the tying goal in a game they ultimately lost to the Anaheim Ducks 1-0. But Duclair failed to get out of the offensive zone quickly enough when the puck came out, and he was ruled offside, negating the goal. 

“It’s something that we all saw and it was unfortunate,” Quinn said. “You can never take your foot off the pedal during the shift. We just didn’t get onside quick enough.”

With his expiring contract, Duclair is a prime trade candidate come the March 8th deadline if he doesn't negotiate an extension before then. But in the meantime, Quinn needs to see him play the right way. 

“Duke’s an important player for us."

Photo: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports