In the meantime, you have seen and heard John Tortorella's quotations about Anthony Duclair so often that you have been able to recite them in chapters and verses.
This was last February when Tortorella was training a Columbus Blue Jackets team to be loaded for a playoff at the close of trading.
"Torts" did not exactly increase Duclair's commercial value when he said about the then 23-year-old striker:
"I don’t think he knows how to play. I don’t. It seems to me that he’s like a player who feels like he can get the puck because he’s incredibly skilled – he’s ice skating, he has all these things, as you know, I just think he can do what he wants the ice cream. In the National Hockey League he can't do that. "
There were more. Tortorella said Duclair is "running out of time" on his fourth career team. In another passage, he referred to Duclair as "off the rails – I'm not sure we'll spend much time getting him back on the rails."
Ten months later we learn that Duclair can do anything he wants in the NHL and can be successful under the right circumstances.
FANTASY POOL ALARM!
Play in the Sportsnet Fantasy Hockey Pool presented by RAM and take the chance to win a 2020 RAM 1500 sport or win cash prizes! It's FREE and easy to play!
Duclair was sold to the Ottawa Senators on the closing date, along with two second selection rounds (2020, 2021) for Ryan Dzingel and a seventh selection round in 2019 (for the Tyler Angle Center design) The many acquisitions of GM Pierre Dorion in the past season.
Over the weekend, Duclair wrote an action to show a lovable young reader how to take the joys of revenge without rejoicing.
Duclair's hat trick against the Blue Jackets, including the winner of the overtime in the power game, had to be as sweet for the "Duke" as it was for Tortorella, who was behind the Columbus bank.
Although he allowed himself a powerful fist pump after the OT-One timer, Duclair refused to indulge in an act that made his former coach eat his words.
"It feels good," Duclair said quietly afterwards about his hat and the winner of the game. "It is nice to get the win if they come back as third. We have definitely learned a good lesson. I am just happy that we played well."
Frank Sinatra once said: "The best revenge is massive success."
It was the story of Duke's season. With 18 goals in 33 games, Duclair is one of the top ten goalscorers in the NHL and has more goals than established stars like Steven Stamkos, John Tavares and Mathew Barzal.
Duclair is one of the league's top bargains at $ 1.65 million on a one-year deal. He has three times more goals than Dzingel, who signed with Carolina in the off-season, and more than any current member of the Blue Jackets team could use a guy like Duclair who is "off the peg".
Duclair started scoring for his latest wardrobe the moment he got off the plane. In 54 games with the senators, he has 26 goals, eight of them last season after trading. His career high for a single season has been 20 since he was in Arizona in 2015/16. It seems reasonable to predict a season with more than 40 goals for 2019-20 for this pending RFA.
Like Duclair, Smith went into the fast lane after defeating Columbus over time and played down the corner of Tort & # 39; s agony.
"I don't think it matters whether it was against his old club, he just wants to help his team," said Smith.
Smith did a good job putting Duclair's success in the right light. Duclair had opportunities in a rebuilding team like Ottawa, whose main goal is top talent, which he did not have with Columbus. He can make mistakes if a defensive bottleneck like Tortorella does not move. Smith uses Duclair's swiftness and dexterity to kill punishments, which in turn helped Duclair's self-confidence move into the nuclear field.
Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman talk to a lot of people in the hockey world and then tell the audience everything about what they heard and what they think about it.
Torts hardly feels that he knows the "book" about Duclair. While Duclair showed signs of being the top scorer in Arizona, he later prevailed in preludes with Chicago and Columbus. (Designed by the New York Rangers in the third round of 2013, Duclair played only 18 games for New York and scored one goal.)
Here is a player who clearly recognized the need to use one of these options, and Ottawa was a good choice for the 24-year-old from the start.
"If you are on a team with a lot of goalscorers and you have a free night, you don't get this opportunity," said Smith. "Here he proved – he keeps shooting. If you need goals, Duke is the guy you go to. But what I liked about him is that his work ethic has improved a lot. He is very responsive. His teammates like him, he's a team-first guy.
"It's great when one guy succeeds. I think the other guys move for him."
Goalkeeper Anders Nilsson, who tried again in the 4-3 win, undoubtedly sounded like a man in the corner of the duke.
"He has had a huge impact on our team throughout the season and it's fun to see him play the way he can and how good he is," said Nilsson. "He has a great shot, I know that from practice. It is difficult to stop and I am happy for it.
"He works hard and is a great guy. It's great to see him rewarded with goals and important goals, especially against his former team."
Of course, the biggest question for Duclair is what kind of contract to afford, provided the senators want to keep it.
After Ottawa has renewed the younger (22) Colin White for six years with an AAV of $ 4.75 million to fight in his second season, he doesn't want to drive Duclair crazy because of a single Boffo season , If they can get him to sign up to three or four years worth $ 4 million. This would be a sign of trust in the player and at the same time give him the chance to make a much bigger deal at 27.
Longer than three to four years seem to be a risk for a team that will look very different in a few years.