NBC Sports explains it this way
Their comment, however, on why Ottawa “made the decision they did” on Duclair as being “a little hard to figure” ignores what happened. Duclair, acting as his own agent in initial talks with Dorion, turned down a 3-year offer at $3 mil per which would have represented a $1,650,000 raise.
Instead, when no one else came clamoring for his services, he signed a last-minute deal with Florida for 1 year for what amounts to a $50,000 raise.
If he turned down $3 mil per for 3, how much would Dorion have to have come up with in a qualifying offer? So he basically said “good luck” and showed him the door.
Last season he had 23 goals in 66 gp and was notoriously streaky in doing so. That’s continued so far this year, getting his first in 12 gp (not 2 as someone suggested elsewhere).