Ducks sign Klingberg to 1-year, reported $7M deal

Posted: 29/07/2022 in NHL
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The top remaining defenseman on the free-agent market is finally off the board.

The Anaheim Ducks signed veteran blue-liner John Klingberg to a one-year contract, the team announced Friday.

Financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but Klingberg will earn $7 million next season, reports The Athletic’s Eric Stephens.

Klingberg spent the last eight seasons with the Dallas Stars and now heads to the West Coast on a prove-it pact. The 29-year-old potted six goals and 41 assists in 74 games in 2021-22 while averaging just over 22 minutes of ice time per contest. He led all Stars defensemen with 47 points on the campaign.

Klingberg can hit the open market again at the end of the 2022-23 season.

The Swedish product’s name swirled in trade rumors throughout the previous campaign. Klingberg said in January that he didn’t feel “appreciated” by the Stars as contract negotiations stalled.

Dallas ultimately hung onto him as his pending unrestricted free-agent status loomed. Klingberg added one assist in seven playoff games before the Calgary Flames eliminated the Stars in the first round of the postseason.

Klingberg parted ways with his longtime agent, Peter Wallen, on Wednesday, according to Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli.

Selected by Dallas in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, Klingberg has skated in 552 career contests.

One of the best puck-moving rearguards in the game, Klingberg has amassed 374 points since entering the league in 2014-15, good for eighth-most among all defensemen during that span.

Klingberg also erupted for the Stars during the 2020 playoff bubble when he ranked seventh among all skaters with 21 points in 26 games en route to Dallas’ run to the Stanley Cup Final.

However, his defensive play took a hit over the past few seasons. The Stars failed to control over 50% of the shot attempts and goals for with Klingberg on the ice at five-on-five in 2021-22, according to Natural Stat Trick. He also posted a career-worst minus-28 on the season.

The right-handed D-man now joins the likes of youngster Jamie DrysdaleKevin Shattenkirk, and Cam Fowler on the blue line in Anaheim.

Klingberg can also give the Ducks’ power play a boost. He topped all Stars defensemen with 20 points on the man advantage last season while averaging just under three minutes of power-play ice time per contest.

Anaheim’s blue line underwent a bit of a makeover this past campaign as new general manager Pat Verbeek moved longtime Ducks defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson near the trade deadline.

The one-year pact gives Anaheim some flexibility. The Ducks can flip Klingberg at the trade deadline or hold onto him if they make a surprise push to the playoffs in the Pacific Division.

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