One of the larger National Hockey League free agent fishes has officially swam off the market, though the destination and term of the new contract came as a bit of a surprise to many.
Former Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg is taking his talents to Southern California, inking a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks. The term is especially unusual, given the fact that Klingberg was after a multi-year deal.
Of course, it had been rumored that the Swedish defenseman could have potentially made his way to the Detroit Red Wings, who have a rich tradition of having had native Swedes don the Winged Wheel. Luke Fox of Sportsnet indicated yesterday that Detroit was in on Klingberg:
"That Klingberg — who got married last week — remains searching for the proper dance partner is curious.
A wild 24 hours suggested the Hurricanes, Kraken, Red Wings, and Senators were all in the mix here. Then, suddenly, the Dallas Stars were making a pitch to keep him in the fold.
A last-ditch return to Dallas fell apart, and the Hurricanes decided to trade for Brent Burns instead.
Where Klingberg — the top-rated D-man to hit the market — lands will be fascinating.
Red Wings speculation persists."
With cap space remaining for GM Steve Yzerman enough to accommodate Klingberg, you can excuse fans for wondering what having the offensive-minded blue liner in the Motor City. Had he indeed decided to make the trek up north, it would have been the latest in a series of signings made by Yzerman this offseason that already include the likes of Andrew Copp, David Perron, Dominik Kubalik, Olli Maatta, Ben Chiarot, and Robert Hagg.