Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 9, 2022

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – January 9, 2022

John Klingberg addresses his contract standoff with the Stars plus the latest on Evander Kane and Jakob Chychrun in the Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup.

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.

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (NHL Images).

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.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek said he can confirm at least 10 teams have contacted the Arizona Coyotes to inquire about Jakob Chychrun. “A couple of offers have given the Coyotes cause for pause,” he said.

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.

Elliotte Friedman believes there are teams who will want to sign Evander Kane if the San Jose Sharks successfully terminate his contract.

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.










NHL Rumor Mill – January 8, 2022

NHL Rumor Mill – January 8, 2022

Could the Canadiens move Carey Price by the trade deadline? What’s the latest on John Klingberg and Jakob Chychrun? Check out the latest in today’s NHL rumor mill.

IS A PRICE DEADLINE DAY DEAL POSSIBLE?

SPORTSNET: In a mailbag segment earlier this week, Eric Engels was asked about the possibility of the Montreal Canadiens moving Carey Price by the March 21 trade deadline. He doesn’t see that happening unless the 34-year-old goaltender returns to action and plays well before deadline day.

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (NHL Images).

Even under that scenario, Price isn’t going anywhere unless he agrees to waive his no-movement clause. Engels believes that conversation could take place at some point between the netminder and hockey ops VP Jeff Gorton if it hasn’t happened already. He doesn’t see Price sitting through what could be a five-year rebuild with the Canadiens for another shot at the Stanley Cup.

CALGARY HERALD: Michael Traikos doesn’t expect Price to be moved before the trade deadline. His contract ($10.5 million annually) is too hefty to move in-season plus he hasn’t played since Game 5 of the 2021 Stanley Cup Final.

Nevertheless, Traikos mused over what it might take for the Edmonton Oilers to acquire Price to address their porous goaltending. He suggested a package of Mikko Koskinen, Jesse Puljujarvi, prospect Dylan Holloway and/or the Oilers 2022 first-round pick with the Canadiens picking up half of Price’s cap hit.

Traikos also suggested more sensible options such as Canadiens backup Jake Allen, Seattle’s Chris Driedger or Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo. However, none of those goalies have the potential to backstop the Oilers to the Stanley Cup Final.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s possible the Canadiens find a taker for Price before the trade deadline but that’s probably a slim hope at best. Even if he returns before March and regains his form, that contract is just too hefty to move during a season where just 10 teams currently have over $5 million in projected salary-cap space.

LATEST ON KLINGBERG AND CHYCHRUN

YAHOO! SPORTS: Thomas Williams cites The Fourth Period’s David Pagnotta indicating sources claim John Klingberg requested a trade from the Dallas Stars. The 29-year-old defenseman is slated to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Pagnotta said contract talks between the two sides “hit a wall” with Klingberg seeking a long-term deal. Williams sees the Stars attempting to cash in on the offensive blueliner at the trade deadline. However, they’re also still in the thick of the playoff chase and that could complicate things.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: No word in the Dallas media or from other NHL insiders about Klingberg’s trade request. It appears the request may have come earlier in the season. If so, the Stars don’t seem to be in any hurry to move him.

If they remain in the playoff race by the deadline they could simply retain Klingberg as an “own-rental” for the postseason. That could change, however, if they fall out of contention by March 21. Given Klingberg’s value as a puck-moving defenseman, he could fetch a solid return if he hits the trade block.

GOPHNX.COM: Craig Morgan noted the recent rumors swirling around Jakob Chychrun. He agrees Arizona Coyotes general manager Bill Armstrong will set a high asking price for the 23-year-old defenseman. However, he also points out the Coyotes aren’t in any rush to trade Chychrun and there’s no guarantee they’ll move him.

Morgan observed the March 21 trade deadline will create pressure for some teams to get something done but so does the need to win. He wonders if the Edmonton Oilers might get back into the mix despite Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman’s recent report calling the Oilers an unlikely destination.

TORONTO STAR: In his latest mailbag segment, Kevin McGran was asked if Chychrun would be worth the Maple Leafs giving up top prospects, a first-round pick and a solid roster player. McGran isn’t sure they would be in the market for a player like him during the season because of their limited cap space. He thinks they’ll look at low-cost rental players.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Chychrun is an attractive trade target and I don’t doubt there’s considerable interest in him. However, I agree with Morgan that the Coyotes aren’t in any rush here with the blueliner under contract for three more years. If they don’t find a return to their liking before the trade deadline, they’ll revisit trade options during the offseason, likely around the July draft weekend.










NHL Rumor Mill – December 11, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – December 11, 2021

Analysis of Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek’s list of potential trade candidates in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek recently listed 25 potential trade candidates of interest to watch this season.

Seattle Kraken defenseman Mark Giordano (NHL Images).

He starts by wondering if Mark Giordano might be thinking of a shot at the Stanley Cup and if the Seattle Kraken might consider shopping him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Can’t rule it out. That move could happen near the March 21 trade deadline. On the other hand, I wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of the Kraken re-signing him.

The Montreal Canadiens could get a first-round pick for defenseman Ben Chiarot from a team seeking a deep playoff run.

That seems to be the growing consensus among the pundits. We’ll find out at some point this season if that’s the case.

Marek also wondered if Brendan Gallagher and Tyler Toffoli would want to be part of a potential rebuilding in Montreal.

If the Canadiens decide to move Gallagher and/or Toffoli it’ll likely happen in the offseason. It’s difficult to move older players with several years on their contracts during the season, especially with 22 teams carrying less than $3.6 million in cap space. Some will have more cap room by the trade deadline but they must also keep an eye on next season’s payrolls with the cap only rising by $1 million.

The direction of the Nashville Predators depends on what they do with pending UFA winger Filip Forsberg.

Predators GM David Poile said in July he was engaging in a “competitive rebuild”. That could continue with Forsberg’s departure. If they’re still in playoff contention by the deadline they’ll keep him as an “own rental” and let him walk this summer if they can’t reach an agreement on an extension.

The Dallas Stars are shopping Anton Khudobin. Marek suspects they’re after a forward. Teams like the Carolina Hurricanes have called about John Klingberg but the Stars could keep him for the playoffs if unable to re-sign the pending UFA defenseman.

Concur on both counts.

The Boston Bruins will remain patient in their efforts to move winger Jake DeBrusk until they get the best possible player or players in return.

Interested clubs could also be unwilling to meet the Bruins’ asking price. Marek’s colleague Elliotte Friedman reported GM Don Sweeney was seeking a defenseman or forward of equal value.

The Vegas Golden Knights could move Reilly Smith to free up cap space when Jack Eichel is ready to return to action.

Smith seems the most likely trade candidate. He carries a $5 million cap hit, lacks no-trade protection and is slated to become a UFA this summer.

The Vancouver Canucks are looking to change direction and could surprise us by moving J.T. Miller.

Not if they manage to climb back into playoff contention. Otherwise, I wouldn’t rule out the Canucks testing the trade market for Miller.

Marek doesn’t envision any scenario where Evander Kane returns to the San Jose Sharks lineup. He believes they’ll have to absorb some of his salary to move him.

He’s not the only pundit who believes that.  Kane’s off-ice woes, his reputation as a divisive player in the dressing room and his $7 million annual salary cap hit make him difficult to move.

Perhaps a team in Alberta would have an interest in Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury.

Marek is referring to the Edmonton Oilers. However, that depends on the health of Oiler goalie Mike Smith, whether Fleury would accept a trade to Edmonton and if the Blackhawks are willing to pick up part of his cap hit.

Marek suggested Detroit Red Wings forward Vladislav Namestnikov and defenseman Nick Leddy could become trade candidates.

Only if the Wings drop out of playoff contention again. Otherwise, they’ll keep both in hope of securing their first postseason berth since 2016.

Ditto Ottawa Senators center Chris Tierney and blueliners Erik Brannstrom and Nick Holden.

I agree regarding Tierney and Holden but I can see them giving Brannstrom another season to crack their roster.

The Columbus Blue Jackets could trade Joonas Korpisalo by the trade deadline. Elvis Merzlikins is their starter and Daniil Tarasov shows promise.

Concur.

Marek wonders if the St. Louis Blues might try to trade Vladimir Tarasenko. It’s clear things are frosty between Taraseno and Blues coach Craig Berube.

Tarasenko hasn’t rescinded his trade request and is fully recovered from his shoulder surgeries. However, his $7.5 million annual average value through 2022-23 remains a sticking point as it was this past summer. The fact he’s owed $9.5 million in actual salary this season and I believe the earliest he gets moved is next summer.

New York Rangers GM Chris Drury won’t budge on honoring Vitali Kravtsov’s trade request unless he gets something of quality in return. Backup goalie Alexandar Georgiev’s name has also been in the rumor mill.

Kravtsov is on loan to KHL club Chelyabinsk and can’t return to the NHL until the KHL season is over. Georgiev’s solid effort filling in for sidelined starter Igor Shesterkin could improve his trade value but the Blueshirts could be reluctant to move him unless they’ve got a reliable backup to replace him.

Arizona Coyotes winger Phil Kessel is available and so is pretty much anyone not named Jakub Chychrun.

I anticipate Kessel gets moved by deadline day. It’ll be interesting to see how many other Coyotes veterans hit the trade block by then.

Marek also wonders what the Pittsburgh Penguins will do with pending UFAs Evgeni Malkin, Kris Letang and Bryan Rust. What happens with Malkin will depend on his health.

I doubt the Penguins shop any of those three if they’re holding a playoff berth by deadline day. Rust is the only one lacking any kind of no-trade protection and carries the most affordable cap hit ($3.5 million).

Marek wondered if Oilers GM Ken Holland will use his first-round pick as trade bait to bring in immediate help for his roster. He also mused over whether the Buffalo Sabres would use one of their three 2022 first-round picks to address an organizational need.










Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 28, 2021

Sunday NHL Rumor Roundup – November 28, 2021

An Eastern Conference club could have interest in Evander Kane, the Hurricanes express interest in the Stars’ John Klingberg, and the latest on the Canucks in the Sunday NHL rumor roundup.

EASTERN CONFERENCE CLUB INTERESTED IN EVANDER KANE

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports of “credible chatter” claiming an Eastern Conference team could be interested in acquiring Evander Kane from the San Jose Sharks after the 30-year-old winger’s 21-game suspension for violating NHL COVID protocols ends on Nov. 30. Brooks was quick to point out the New York Rangers are not interested in Kane.

San Jose Sharks winger Evander Kane (NHL Images).

Kane has been dealing with considerable off-ice drama this season involving bankruptcy and a messy divorce. He’s also alienated many of his Sharks teammates. While he apologized for his “mistake” of falsifying his vaccination status, it’s uncertain if he’s been vaccinated for COVID-19.

The Sharks are reportedly willing to retain up to half of Kane’s $7 million annual average value through 2024-25. While his offensive skills would make him a good fit among a club’s top-six forwards, his personal baggage could prove an unwelcome distraction and a PR problem.

SAN JOSE HOCKEY NOW: Sheng Peng speculated over which Eastern club would be interested in taking Kane off the Sharks’ hands.

One could be the Carolina Hurricanes given their offseason signing of Tony DeAngelo despite his recent history of disciplinary issues. It could be a “culture-strong” franchise like the Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals or Pittsburgh Penguins with veteran leadership that Kane would immediately respect. Peng also wondered if the Florida Panthers might be interested given Joe Thornton’s close relationship with Kane when Thornton was still with the Sharks.

Peng said his sources still consider a Kane trade unlikely unless the Sharks also sweeten the pot by adding first-round picks or agree to take a bad contract in return.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Peng makes a good point about Kane perhaps fitting in on a club with veterans he looks up to. That was the case in his first couple of years with the Sharks when Thornton and Joe Pavelski were still with the franchise.

Kane wouldn’t be able to get away with any nonsense playing for the Hurricanes’ Rod Brind’Amour. He could also straighten up playing with the Lightning, Capitals and Penguins or by being reunited with Thornton on the Panthers. The question remains whether any of them are willing to take the chance.

HURRICANES CONTACTED STARS ABOUT JOHN KLINGBERG

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek reports several teams have contacted the Dallas Stars inquiring about John Klingberg. One team interested in the 27-year-old defenseman is the Carolina Hurricanes.

Klingberg is slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. He seeks an eight-year extension worth in the mid-$60 million range from the Stars.

Marek said the Stars don’t want to trade Klingberg right now because they have playoff aspirations of their own. However, that hasn’t stopped teams from calling.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: We can’t rule out the Stars and Klingberg agreeing to an extension before the trade deadline. They could also keep him as an “own rental” if he’s still unsigned and they’re in playoff contention by the March 21 trade deadline. Still, this situation could be worth following if the Stars fall out of the playoff chase and Klingberg hasn’t signed a new contract leading up to deadline day.

As Marek observed, the Hurricanes aren’t afraid to make bold moves. They were reportedly among the club’s interested in Jack Eichel, their gamble on Tony DeAngelo appears to be working out and they successfully offer-sheeted Jesperi Kotkaniemi. It shouldn’t be surprising that they’re monitoring Klingberg’s situation. For that matter, it wouldn’t be shocking if they acquired Evander Kane.

LATEST ON THE CANUCKS

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman reports the Vancouver Canucks had permission from the Montreal Canadiens to speak to Claude Julien about their head-coach job. They’ve also talked about Scott Walker for that role. However, he doesn’t think they’re going down that road for either guy. He said the Canucks are considering some options but nothing long-term until they’re convinced they have the right person or people for those jobs.

THE ATHLETIC: Thomas Drance considers it an open secret that the Canucks are looking for a replacement for head coach Travis Green. However, it considers it “enormously telling” if the Julien or Walker routes are closed off to them. It could also be indicative that general manager Jim Benning could be running out of room to maneuver.

Harman Dayal recently indicated his belief the Canucks aren’t actively shopping forward J.T. Miller, especially if the club remains in “win-now” mode. His versatility and physical style provides them with some much-needed flexibility and bite.

However, the Canucks must consider if Miller is willing to sign a contract extension and whether it would be worth the high price to sign him. They must also consider if they can still build a winner during the Miller-Bo Horvat window or if a retool would be a better option.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Canucks and Montreal Canadiens have been jockeying for this season’s dubious honor of Canada’s most dysfunctional team.

At least the Canadiens seem to be making some progress with the reports they could bring in former Rangers GM Jeff Gorton as a potential president of hockey operations. The Canucks front office, meanwhile, still seem stubbornly resistant to doing anything significant to shake things up. Granted, it’s worthwhile not to be too hasty and risk making a mistake but at some point, they have to act.

Miller probably won’t be traded this season but I can see his role and those of every player on the Canucks being evaluated by a new general manager in the offseason. That’s assuming ownership finally runs out of patience with Benning by that point and finds a suitable replacement by then.










NHL Rumor Mill – November 18, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – November 18, 2021

A look at some options for the Islanders to replace the sidelined Ryan Pulock, possible goalie targets for the Oilers, and the latest on the Canadiens in today’s NHL rumor mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Arthur Staple examined possible options for the New York Islanders to replace sidelined defenseman Ryan Pulock, who’s out four to six weeks with a lower-body injury.

General manager Lou Lamoriello could look to within his system. He could give younger defensemen like Noah Dobson more playing time, turn to a veteran like Thomas Hickey, or call up Robin Salo.

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg (NHL Images).

If Lamoriello decides to go the trade route, Staple suggested inquiring into the availability of Arizona Coyotes defenseman Jakob Chychrun or Dallas Stars blueliner John Klingberg. Less expensive options could include the Seattle Kraken’s Mark Giordano or Vince Dunn, the Montreal Canadiens’ Ben Chiarot or the St. Louis Blues’ Marco Scandella.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I don’t rule out Lamoriello pursuing a deal for a defenseman but I think he’ll look to within for the time being. Staple was merely suggesting possible trade options. There’s no indication any of those defensemen he mentioned are available.

The Coyotes aren’t moving Chychrun unless he requests a trade. They see him as a key piece in their rebuilding process. The Stars are talking contract with Klingberg and I don’t think they’ve reached the point where they’re considering a trade. I doubt the Kraken are planning to move Giordano or Dunn right now. The same goes for the Canadiens with Chiarot and the Blues with Scandella.

Anything’s possible, of course, and if Lamoriello’s willing to overpay maybe he could acquire one of those defensemen. However, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for one of them to be suiting up with the Isles over the next six weeks.

THE ATHLETIC: Allan Mitchell recently observed Edmonton Oilers GM Ken Holland doesn’t have a history of swinging trades this early in the season. He usually waits until the trade deadline if his club is in contention and his roster has a need to be filled.

Goaltender Mike Smith’s recent injury has given some cause for concern. Mitchell suggested the Detroit Red Wings’ Thomas Greiss, New Jersey Devils’ Jonathan Bernier, Chicago Blackhawks’ Marc-Andre Fleury and the Dallas Stars’ Anton Khudobin or Braden Holtby if the Oilers should need help between the pipes.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Some folks have already started linking Fleury to the Oilers but I’d keep an eye on the Dallas Stars. Ben Bishop has been practicing with the club for several weeks but they’re taking it slow to ensure he’s 100 percent recovered from last year’s knee surgery. They also can’t activate him off long-term injury reserve without clearing some cap space.

NHL.com’s Mike Heika speculated they could move Khudobin or Holtby though doing so could put the Stars in a bind if Bishop got hurt again. They do have promising Jake Oettinger that they could call up but they could prefer letting him spend this season with the farm team before bringing him up full time.

SPORTSNET: Elliotte Friedman believes the Montreal Canadiens would consider adding a puck-moving defenseman.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s a move that might not happen until the offseason. The Canadiens are sinking like a sunset in the standings and there’s not much available in the trade market to help them right now.










NHL Rumor Mill – October 26, 2021

NHL Rumor Mill – October 26, 2021

The latest Jack Eichel speculation and more on John Klingberg’s contract negotiations in today’s NHL rumor mill.

SPORTSNET: Jeff Marek and Elliotte Friedman once again discussed Jack Eichel’s ongoing standoff with the Buffalo Sabres. Friedman talked about the possibility of Eichel perhaps filing a grievance through the NHL Players Association if there’s not a resolution to this impasse soon. Talk of a grievance suggests the possibility of a trade or a decision on his medical situation isn’t as close as they hoped it would be.

Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel (NHL Images).

Friedman mentioned several teams are continuing to engage at times. Marek brought up the Vegas Golden Knights but Friedman pointed out Eichel won’t be able to help them right now though he thinks they’ve been in and out on this for a while.

Marek also talked about the Seattle Kraken, pointing out they’re not in win-now mode like the Golden Knights. However, Friedman said he hasn’t heard much about the Kraken having an interest in the Sabres captain.

Friedman said the teams he’s wondered about regarding Eichel are the Golden Knights, Calgary Flames, Anaheim Ducks, New York Rangers, Colorado Avalanche, Carolina Hurricanes, Columbus Blue Jackets and Boston Bruins. Right now, he doesn’t get the sense that anyone’s close.

He hasn’t heard as much about the Ducks as he had in the past. He doesn’t see the Rangers doing it now that they’ve signed Mika Zibanejad unless somebody retains part of Eichel’s salary. The same goes for the Minnesota Wild. The Avalanche has been around in a minor way. He looks at the Bruins’ situation and the Sabres’ expensive asking price and wonders if they can do it.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The only teams I believe can acquire Eichel at this time are those with plenty of salary-cap space and tradeable assets who can afford to wait for him to return from the disc replacement surgery he seeks.

Only the rebuilding Ducks fit that description right now. The Blues Jackets are another possibility but that could depend upon their performance as this seasons rolls along.

The Sabres aren’t budging from their asking price, which is reportedly a return equal to four first-round draft picks. They’re also refusing to retain any of Eichel’s salary. They can afford to wait for an interested team to meet their asking price.

A trade could be made involving a third team that agrees to retain part of Eichel’s salary. However, they’ll want a significant return from the club they ship him to in order to make carrying that dead cap space worthwhile for the next four seasons.

THE ATHLETIC: Saad Yousef recently followed up on Jeff Marek’s report indicating Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg’s camp is seeking an eight-year deal worth between $62 million and $68 million. That would put his annual average value between $7.75 million and $8.25 million.

Yousef, however, cites sources confirming that’s just the starting point for Klingberg’s contract. The belief is the defenseman is a $9 million to $9.5 million player. Yousef speculates Klingberg might have to accept less than $9 million if he wants the full eight-year deal or a shorter-term if he seeks over $9 million.

Klingberg’s camp hasn’t taken a hard line in these negotiations. The defenseman has made it known he wants to stay in Dallas.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Stars have $58.3 million invested in 14 players for 2022-23. With Joe Pavelski and Alexander Radulov coming off their books, they’ll have enough room to re-sign Klingberg.