Jeff Marek connects the Canes with John Klingberg of Dallas
During the interval of the Pittsburgh Penguins – Montreal Canadiens game on November 27, TSN insider Jeff Marek reported that the Carolina Hurricanes have been in contact with the Dallas Stars regarding the availability of Swedish defenseman John Klingberg. It’s a particularly interesting development, and it screams of a team that wants to do a deep run in these playoffs.
Klingberg’s defensive play has deteriorated over the years and the 29-year-old defender isn’t what he used to be in his own zone, but he is unquestionably an offensive genius. While Klingberg would be a major addition to the Cannes blue line, is there a need? And is it worth it to try to add a rental like the great Swede at the expense of the future? There are a lot of unknowns in this situation.
Klingberg isn’t much of a 5v5 expert. In that sense, he’ll need a bit of a grip and a bit of walking through the minutes. Where Klingberg will make his money is in the power play. He’s one of the best power play QBs in the National Hockey League and can put a puck on a dime. Considering that he does not earn an exorbitant sum of money, that would be very desirable for the Canes.
My first thought when I saw this news was, “Well, why? Was something wrong with Ethan Bear’s health, or did something happen out of the ice with Tony DeAngelo? Was Brett Pesce injured again? then I took a deep breath and did some math on CapFriendly. I don’t give them enough credit, this site is worth its weight in gold.
To put it under the cap, oh boy would it be tight. If Dallas retains half of his contract ($ 2.125 million), Klingberg would come under the ceiling. Breathing would not be possible, but the Canes would be under the cap with a list of 23 men. It would ruin them by racking up cap space for the trade deadline, but they’re already using LTIR cap space, so they don’t get any additional caps anyway.
If he’s added to that Canes squad (assuming there aren’t any main roster losses), I would have to assume Klingberg is in the first pairing. He can eat big minutes, but he can flip every now and then and do silly pinches. Since Carolina has the luxury of employing Jaccob Slavin, that shouldn’t be a huge problem since he’s had a lot more incompetent defensive partners over his NHL career.
It would probably take a combination of perspectives to get Klingberg. I imagine that would mean parting ways with prospects like Noel Gunler or Zion Nybeck to get the Stars to consider moving him. While Caroline’s prospect pool is large, swapping leads for rentals isn’t exactly something Caroline has grown accustomed to doing during the years of organizations in the City of Oaks.
If you ask me if John Klingberg is worth this bundle to have him, I don’t know what my answer would be. He’s not worth the $ 7-8million extension he’s asking for, so he’s very likely to test the market. If this is a trade that ends up happening, this Caroline team will have to go deep this year. Investing in this team means expectations. Another disappointing shallow playoff run with the acquisition of a rental like this will raise many red flags going forward.