Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 9, 2022
KLINGBERG UNHAPPY OVER CONTRACT TALKS WITH STARS
THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Matthew DeFranks reports John Klingberg admitted he doesn’t feel like he’s been appreciated in his stalled contract negotiations with the Dallas Stars. The 29-year-old defenseman made the comments while speaking with the media yesterday following the Stars 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Addressing a rumor that he requested a trade, he said, “I don’t think that’s entirely true,” explaining that general manager Jim Nill agreed that he and his agent could speak with other GMs and see where they were at. “It’s not like I’ve been going out there and asking, ‘I want to get traded now’, or something like that. It’s something that’s been going on with the negotiations and stuff like that.”
Klingberg said he wants to stay in Dallas and indicated to management after last season that he wanted to negotiate right away. He pointed out other players had signed right before the season began and he wanted to do the same. However, he’s grown frustrated in recent years feeling that he’s had to prove himself. He also indicated things have gone quiet on the Stars side “negotiationwise.”
THE ATHLETIC: Saad Yousef reports Klingberg said he got one offer from the Stars “way back” but they haven’t really moved at all. He said he and his agent have been trying to come up with different numbers and years to meet them. The blueliner added he didn’t know if the club intends to sign him.
SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports he spoke with Klingberg’s agent, who said in late November or early December that he asked if a trade could be accommodated for his client if an agreement on a contract extension couldn’t be reached. Marek also said Klingberg seeks an eight-year, $63 million deal.
NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks believes we can add Klingberg to the “endless list of potential marquee rental properties” who will be linked to the Rangers leading up to the March 21 trade deadline. He pointed out GM Chris Drury has the cap space and prized prospects “to get anyone (any two?) he would want.”
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Klingberg acknowledged the business side of this situation and understands the Stars already have a lot of money invested in their blueline corps. Nevertheless, he also has to look out for his best interests.
Yousef pointed out the Stars have sufficient cap space for next season to re-sign Klingberg but they also have to account for future signings of players such as Roope Hintz, Jason Robertson and Denis Gurianov. Ponying up $8.5 million annually for Klingberg would take a big bite out of their cap space next season.
As I noted yesterday, I don’t see the Stars shopping Klingberg unless they fall out of playoff contention before the trade deadline or if he forces the issue. However, I don’t think he’s a fit with the Rangers as they already have Norris Trophy winner Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba as their top-two right-side defensemen.
UPDATES ON JAKOB CHYCHRUN AND EVANDER KANE.
Marek said the Coyotes seek a young player, a high-end prospect and a first-round pick. Teams with the assets to do that who could be interested include the Los Angeles Kings, St. Louis Blues and the Anaheim Ducks, who might lose Hampus Lindholm this summer to free agency.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: That return sounds more reasonable than the recent reports claiming the Coyotes want something comparable to what the Vegas Golden Knights gave up to the Buffalo Sabres last fall for Jack Eichel.
It’s still a significant haul for the 23-year-old defenseman who led all blueliners last season with 18 goals. His production has suffered this season as a result of the depleted depth around him on the Coyotes.
Bear in mind the Coyotes aren’t under any pressure to move Chychrun. With the blueliner under contract for three more years at an affordable cap hit of $4.6 million, they can take their time and wait for the right offer. We’ll find out soon enough if there’s a rival club willing to make that move before the trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: There’s been speculation since late November suggesting there were teams interested in acquiring Kane if the Sharks would either absorb half his $7 million annual cap hit or find another team to become a third-party broker to further spread that cap hit around.
Kane has considerable personal baggage and a growing reputation as a dressing room cancer. Nevertheless, there could be some playoff contenders willing to take a chance on him because of his power-forward skills, especially if they can get him on an affordable one- or two-year contract.