Just before the Arizona Coyotes took on the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night, the team officially announced that it was reassigning forward Anthony Duclair to the Tucson Roadrunners of the American Hockey League. General Manager John Chayka had this to say about Duclair:
"Anthony is a good young player," said Chayka. "Unfortunately, he has struggled this season. We felt this was a good time to send him to Tucson to work on a few things and hopefully regain his scoring touch. We hope to have him rejoin our team soon."
Duclair has three goals and six assists in 41 games with the Coyotes this season, well below the 20 goal, 24 assist pace Duclair set last season in his first year with the Coyotes. Duclair is still a positive possession player relative to his teammates - he has a 47.2% 5v5 Corsi For Percentage this season, 1.2 percentage points better than the team average - but even those metrics are off of last season, when he was a 49.9% 5v5 Corsi For player, and 3.9 percentage points better than the team average.
Undoubtedly not helping matters for Duclair is the absence of Max Domi, whom Domi played almost 330 5v5 minutes with last season. Six of Duclair’s eleven even-strength goals last season came while Domi was on the ice.
Duclair will join a Tucson Roadrunners team currently in an all out slugfest for the top spot in the AHL’s Pacific Division. Perhaps the move will give Duclair a chance to work on elements of his game in a less high-pressure environment, while getting some experience playing in the middle of a postseason push.
Ryan White was activated from injured reserve this evening, so the Coyotes did not make a corresponding roster call-up.