Every year, there seems to be one defenseman on the trade market a cut above the other blueliners available. This year, that man likely will be John Klingberg.
The Dallas Stars defenseman more or less has asked for a trade. The reports are Klingberg wants either a contract extension or to be sent somewhere he can get one, and Dallas appears skeptical of giving him a new deal. So, while Klingberg asserts he hasn’t technically demanded that the Stars move him, you can read between the lines that he’s likely getting traded.
Last season, the Columbus Blue Jackets got a first- and a third-round pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning for David Savard. Klingberg is a superior player, and according to The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun, should net a return of a first-rounder and more.
“If they’re selling on Klingberg (which I think they will), the return package could be a first-round pick, a prospect plus maybe an additional pick,” LeBrun wrote. “Just based on Savard fetching a first- and a third-round pick last year, it’s a reasonable ask for Dallas since Klingberg is a higher-level player.
“If Klingberg signs an extension with his new team as part of a trade, then the return package would be even better for the Stars.”
Klingberg, 29, has spent his entire career with the Stars. A gifted puck-mover who is good for 30-plus points a season (he’s at 1-16-17 in 30 games this season), Klingberg is a bona fide top-pairing D-man with plenty to offer in all three zones.
There will be suitors for him, to the point that Dallas very likely will receive that possible asking price — if not more.
But the trade deadline is two months away, and the Stars aren’t fully out of playoff contention just yet. One has to think that will prevent much from happening on the Klingberg front for a little while.