On Friday, news broke out that long-time Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg had requested a trade from the team after contract extension discussions had gone silent between Klingberg’s camp and the Dallas Stars.
Klingberg has appeared in 25 games for the Dallas Stars this season, where he has scored one goal and 16 points. The 29-year-old has played in 503 career games in his eight-season career so far and has recorded 66 goals and 343 points.
He’s continued his career at a steady pace in points, and you could argue that Klingberg has been one of the best offensive defensemen in the entire league in this past decade. He’s had 40, 50, and even 60-point seasons in the past.
Now, at 29 years of age, Klingberg is in the final year of his seven-year, $29.75 million contract. Obviously, the high-scoring D man is looking to get paid in his next contract, especially after only making $4.25m AAV while scoring at an astronomical rate.
At the beginning of the season, rumors surfaced that the two sides had begun working on a contract extension. It was reported that the Gothenburg native was asking north of 10 million dollars on an eight-year deal.
Klingberg’s requests have raised a few eyebrows throughout the Kings’ fanbase, wondering if he could be a good fit on the team. The Kings have struggled to put up points along the blueline all season and haven’t been able to stay healthy on the back end either.
Acquiring a big-name defenseman with a decent track record in points and the basic stat of plus/minus would be huge for Los Angeles. Although the fantasy of having him in LA doesn’t sound bad, the reality could be a nightmare.
Klingberg isn’t as good as some people make him out to be. He was once a great offensive defenseman who knew how to score and create big plays, but the truth is that he isn’t the player he once was.
Klingberg’s fall from grace is relatively fresh, as he first started to spiral back in 2019-20 at the age of 27.
He was still a serviceable player and a valuable part of the Dallas Stars, but he wasn’t necessarily the player he was earlier in his career.
As time went on, he started to get worse and worse, to the point where he hasn’t been all that great.
This year, Klingberg’s team value (or rather wins above replacement) has been at an all-time low. It’s down to 29%, or as a decimal version, -0.1. Having a 12% downgrade at 29 years of age is a giant red flag when it comes to defensemen.
Sure, the team’s lack of success definitely plays into why Klingberg hasn’t been favorable, but in recent years, it plainly looks like he’s starting to regress sooner than expected.
His offensive skill has undoubtedly improved this year, but the issue is that his defensive play has dipped.
A lot of Klingberg’s points, though, have shown up thanks to his elite powerplay. His power play skill could categorically help the Kings, but at the price at what he’s asking for on an extension and the price that Dallas will attempt to move him for, it will not be worth it in the slightest.
Klingberg is a right-handed shooter who plays on the right side. He’s never set foot to play on the left side in his entire career, and frankly, the right side in LA is occupied on all three lines.
The Kings’ have a lot of money coming off the books for next season, but Klingberg is not one of those players that you lose a huge part of your cap space to.
To be completely honest, the LA Kings would be much better off giving more away in a trade for a player like Jakob Chychrun. It may be more pricey, but the player that the Kings would receive is more proven, younger, and much more worthy.