Anthony Duclair ‘very happy to be back’ with Panthers

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After playing for six teams in seven seasons, Florida Panthers forward Anthony Duclair has found a home.

Duclair, 25, signed the first multi-year contract of his career with the Panthers on Thursday. The deal is a three- year, $9 million contract.

“I’m very happy to be back for another three years,” Duclair said in a video conference on Friday. “I’ve worked very hard for this and for the organization to give me a chance to come back is an honor. I’m definitely not going to take it for granted.”

Duclair represented himself without an agent in the deal, which was finalized on his father’s birthday.

“That was a really special day not only for myself, but obviously for my whole family,” Duclair said.

Being involved in the community is important to Duclair. Now that he will be in South Florida for the next three years, he plans on taking a larger role in it.

“Any time I go to a new team, I do my best to take part in the community,” Duclair said. “Obviously, the fans and the people are what makes this sport so special, so anytime I have the chance to give back, I go right ahead and do that. Being here for next three years, I’m definitely going to take a leap and dig deeper in that role.”

The Quebec native has enjoyed living in South Florida and has embraced the lifestyle.

“You can’t beat Florida, that’s for sure,” Duclair said. “There are so many things to do off the ice. The lifestyle is unbelievable. It’s not close to home, but it’s on the east coast and my parents are more than happy to come watch a few games down here.”

Duclair has appeared in 396 career NHL regular-season games for Florida (2020-21), Ottawa (2018-19 to 2019-20), Columbus (2018-19), Chicago (2017-18), Arizona (2015-16 to 2017-18) and New York Rangers (2014-15).

In 43 games for the Panthers, Duclair recorded 32 points (10-22-32) and led the team’s forwards with a career-high +27 rating.

“I’m really excited to come back in this group and keep moving forward.”

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