The Chicago Blackhawks have snagged forward Anthony Duclair and Adam Clendening from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for forward Richard Panik and prospect Laurent Dauphin.
22-year-old Duclair has been considered the “hidden gem of the NHL trade market” and for good reason, as he’s got a bargain contract under his belt and has tremendous upside. For the Blackhawks, this is a big land.
As was in the news last month, the Coyotes were shopping Duclair so as to get the youngster a “fresh start” of sorts. With their season already in the books, so to speak, the organization took the high road and put him on the blocks. After all, Duclair had spent the past three seasons in the desert without getting many eyeballs on his actual value.
Duclair has nine goals and 15 points in 33 games this season. In his first full season (2014-2015) with Arizona, the third-round pick posted 20 goals and 24 assists in 81 games. But the Coyotes’ dull fortunes haven’t exactly shined a light on his performance.
As for Panik, he’s been stuck in the middle of a rough contract with Stan Bowman’s Blackhawks and ditching him is their gain. The underachieving forward is signed through 2018-2019 to an annual cap hit of $2.8 million. The deal was a two-year contract inked in May of 2017 after the 26-year-old blew up for 22 goals in the 2016-2017 season.
Unfortunately, 22 goals is not the norm for the Slovakian forward and Panik has settled back down in Chicago. He has just six goals so far this season.
“Richard Panik is a big, skilled winger who is an excellent goal scorer,” said Coyotes general manager John Chayka. “He’s also a strong two-way forward with great speed and provides a veteran presence.”
Selling Panik on a perpetually sinking ship doesn’t really take much effort, but it’s pretty clear the Blackhawks won this deal. They’ve got a run to make as the season gets cooking and Duclair will help pad their secondary scoring.