Where else could be better in the league for Duclair than the team he just helped get to the Stanley Cup Final? He was moved out of Sunrise as a casualty of the salary cap, but with the Panthers now having a projected $5 million available to them at the NHL trade deadline, it could be an interesting situation for the Duke to return to his old stomping ground.
Florida haven't seen the offensive success they would have liked to start the year. Currently sitting 15th in the league in goals for, this could be a team looking for some offensive support if the price is right. They haven't been quite up to the standards they set for themselves last season in the goal scoring department. Part of this is due to the rather quiet start to the season Matthew Tkachuk had, but some depth to help replenish the scoring may not be a bad thing.
When Florida traded the Duke to San Jose this summer, it was as a casualty of their salary cap needs. The Panthers bluelne needed to be remodeled after injuries that Aaron Ekblad and Brandon Montour sustained in the postseason were going to keep them out of the lineup to start the season. With both back healthy, a return to the Atlantic coast of the sunshine state may not be something we can rule out.
Florida aren't averse to dishing out draft picks to address problems the team has, we've seen this in the past. That organization hasn't drafted in the first round since 2020, They are comfortable moving picks to address issues, so getting a nice return for Duclair from the Panthers is possible, hence making a return to the Cats somewhat more likely than some teams that adopt an anti-rental stance.