Dom Lunardo | December 17th, 2019
Over the course of his coaching career, there’s no doubt that John Tortorella’s experienced countless sleepless nights. Whether in charge of the Lightning, Rangers, Canucks, or Blue Jackets, the enigma surrounding John Tortorella never fades away. After last Saturday’s afternoon matinee in Ottawa, where his Columbus Blue Jackets fell to the Senators, I’m guessing “Torts” had some difficulty sleeping after Anthony Duclair’s hat trick performance.
Not only was Duclair the most electrifying player on the ice, he even “stuck it” to his former coach by netting the overtime winner to cap a scintillating 3-goal afternoon. Ahh, the sweet taste of redemption. As we near the holiday break in the action with regards to the NHL schedule, it’s fair to conclude that Anthony Duclair, the Laval, QC native, has been nothing short of spectacular this season for the Senators. Let’s take a closer look at Anthony Duclair, as a player who you should definitely keep your eyes on as the season progresses.
When Senators General Manager Pierre Dorion convinced Anthony Duclair to sign for his club in the summer, he knew he was getting a player with skill and speed in abundance, which would be a huge help in rebuilding a hockey club. What he perhaps didn’t know would be how much Duclair could help the Senators in all facets of the game.
This is something that is integral to such a young team that has high hopes for a bright future. Currently wheeling and dealing on a 1-year/$1.65M contract with the Sens, Duclair is now playing for his 5th NHL team (Rangers, Coyotes, Blackhawks, Blue Jackets, and Senators), where he currently plies his craft. Quite the continuous change of scenery for a player who’s still only 24 years of age. By the looks of it, so far in 2019/20, his play would dictate that Duclair feels right at home. Perhaps this is due to the fact that he’s only a few short hours from his family (Ottawa, ON to Laval, QC), or perhaps that he finally feels comfortable with the coaching staff, GM, and his teammates in the nations’ capital who believe in him. This was certainly not the case with the Rangers who shipped him out of town after only 18 games, or with the Blue Jackets, who couldn’t wait to rid themselves of the talented winger.
A season ago, John Tortorella, Head Coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets, even publicly questioned if Duclair could play at this level. Could this be the start of something special for Duclair? With 18 goals in 33 games played this season, I’d certainly like to think so.
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