A little more than three years ago, John Klingberg was an impending restricted free agent when he signed a seven-year contract extension with the Dallas Stars worth $29.75 million. It was a pretty substantial deal for someone who had only 65 NHL games under his belt, but needless to say it’s worked out fantastically for the Stars:
Heading into the fourth season of the contract, it’s easy to say the decision has turned out rather well for Dallas. Klingberg has 214 points in 303 games during that span, good for fifth among all defensemen, and his 0.71 points per game during the life of the contract only trail Erik Karlsson, Brent Burns, Victor Hedman, and Kris Letang.
Of course one of the most important numbers to keep in mind when discussing John Klingberg is his cap hit, which is only $4.25 million. Out of all 18 players to receive a Norris Trophy vote last season, only two — Roman Josi (seventh) and Josh Manson (17th) — have a lower cap hit than Klingberg, and both are under contract for fewer years — Josi’s deal is up in 2020 and Manson’s expires in 2021, while Klingberg has until 2022.
In a revisionist history, one where Klingberg signs a bridge deal, he’d likely be up for a new contract this summer. Based on the current market for defensemen, a fair projection for Klingberg’s next deal would be in the neighborhood of the eight-year, $64 million deal John Carlson signed with Washington this summer.
If we assume the $8 million annual salary would be Klingberg’s reward, the $3.75 million in ‘free’ value the Stars receive is the difference between keeping or losing a player like Radek Faksa after the 2020 season. It’s the type of difference that allowed the Stars to dream big and go after John Tavares while maintaining cap space for Tyler Seguin’s looming extension.
You can read more in Sean Shapiro’s piece here.
Term was important when Blake Comeau decided to sign with Dallas, but he also believes the team can make a push for they Stanley Cup:
Josh Lile takes a look at the Stars’ sixth through 10th best prospects, including one name who’s probably lower than you expect. [SportsDay DFW]
Around the League
The #Canes have acquired Cliff Pu, Buffalo’s second-round selection in the 2019 NHL Draft and Buffalo’s third-round and sixth-round selections in the 2020 NHL Draft in exchange for Jeff Skinner. https://t.co/oEvNu3fqxH— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) August 2, 2018
On that note, as the NBA deals with the aftermath of a “star player is unwillingly traded” storyline, Down Goes Brown takes a look at eight comparable situations in NHL history. [Sportsnet]
It’s always interesting to see how fans’ perceptions of their teams stack up with public opinion:
The NHL front office confidence rankings: Fans voted and ranked each team from 31 to 1: https://t.co/a387iwbZeg— The Athletic NHL (@TheAthleticNHL) August 2, 2018
If you’d like to know where the Stars ended up, here’s a sneak preview:
I submit proof that the Stars fan base is pretty self aware, ranking the Stars drafting dead last in the league https://t.co/V7dD0PjyKe— Taylor Baird (@taylordbaird) August 2, 2018
The deal will likely be a “prove it” year for the defenseman, whether he’s proving it to Colorado or some other team:
Patrick Nemeth & the Colorado Avalanche, who were scheduled for arbitration on Aug 4th, have settled ahead of their hearing on a new 1 year deal at $2,500,000— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) August 2, 2018
At 26, Nemeth will be an Unrestricted Free Agent when his new deal with COL expires next summerhttps://t.co/VYehErefUr pic.twitter.com/LcRKi3gFfS
And in case you need an example of what happens when a pricey, long term deal goes wrong:
The #flames have placed Troy Brouwer on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a buyout.— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) August 2, 2018
Ryan Kennedy writes why Troy Bouwer’s buyout should serve as a warning for other teams overpaying veterans for past success. [The Hockey News]