Montreal Canadiens: Should Habs Look To Acquire Anthony Duclair?

Jan 9, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; San Jose Sharks left wing Anthony Duclair (10) skates during the
Jan 9, 2024; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; San Jose Sharks left wing Anthony Duclair (10) skates during the / Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The Montreal Canadiens continue to hover around the .500 points percentage on the season. They seem to win a couple then lose a few all season long.

This has them on pace for about 80-85 points on the year which is not a bad season, but it will certainly not be enough for a playoff spot. They were not expected to make the postseason this year, and it doesn't look like they will, but they are hanging around closer to the playoff cutoff than many expected.

They are still expected to be sellers as the trade deadline approaches, but general manager Kent Hughes mentioned at a recent press conference the team is always looking to add scoring. They do struggle to put pucks in the net so that makes sense, but will they look to add some this season?

If they do, a sensible target would be Anthony Duclair. The 28 year old Laval, Quebec native has had his ups and downs in his NHL career and is currently playing on the worst team in the NHL. The San Jose Sharks are struggling mightily and are sure to be selling assets before the trade deadline. Duclair is a pending unrestricted free agent with a $3 million cap hit so he is proabably going to be moved.

He is also kind of in the doghouse in San Jose as he was recently made a healthy scratch for the second time this season. The player, and his head coach mentioned Duclair's effort level was in question which led to the scratch and he needs to be a little more consistent.

Could a trade to his hometown team bring out a little more effort, pride and consistency? If so, it would add a player who can certainly put pucks in the net to the Canadiens. Ducliar scored eight goals and 16 points in 40 games for the Sharks so far this season but was a 31 goal scorer in 2021-22 for the Florida Panthers.

When he is at his best, Duclair is worth a multi-year contract with a raise on his current cap hit. He is among the fastest skaters in the league and has a goal scorer's touch around the net as well. The 28 year old could have some great seasons in front of him.

The Canadiens have an incredible 22 draft picks over the next two years and Hughes already stated he likely won't be using all of them. With Duclair's value low, it would make sense to move one pick in the third round for a player like Duclair.

Duclair hasn't been at his best this season with the Sharks, but may be more motivated in his hometown and could form a dyamic, speedy duo with Alex Newhook on the second line later this season for the Canadiens. If it works, an extension could be worked out and if it does not, then the Habs just moved a middle range pick to find out they should avoid a local boy as a free agent.

It is not likely the Canadiens will be big buyers this season, but Hughes did say the team would like to find more scoring. Duclair is a player who scored 31 goals recently and should come for cheap. It would be worth the middling risk to bring him in and see if it clicks.