The Anaheim Ducks announced on Friday that they had signed defenseman John Klingberg to a one-year, $7 million contract. The seasoned defenceman began his NHL career with the Dallas Stars and played for them for the first eight seasons.
Ducks General Manager Pat Verbeek said in a statement: “We are tremendously happy to have John to our group.” “A talented forward, John can lead a power play and score from the blue line for our team. In addition, he brings a wealth of experience and character to our group.”
Even though Klingberg was an unrestricted free agent, no deal could be reached between him and the Stars. During his eight seasons with Dallas, the 29-year-old amassed 71 goals and 303 assists, including a 47-point season in 2021-22 (six goals and 41 assists).
In four playoff appearances with the Stars, Klingberg scored 35 points. With four goals and 17 assists in 26 postseason games, the veteran defenseman led the way for the Dallas Mavericks to the Stanley Cup Final in 2020. For a defenseman in the NHL, Klingberg’s 21 points were the sixth-highest total in a postseason since 1995.
The Stars selected the veteran defenseman in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL Draft (No. 131 overall). Klingberg has 303 assists, 374 points, and 21 game-winning goals to his credit throughout his time with the team.
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) July 29, 2022
The Ducks’ busy offseason has continued with the signing of Klingberg. Shortly after free agency opened earlier this month, the team also signed center Ryan Strome to a five-year, $25 million contract and winger Frank Vatrano to a three-year, $10.95 million contract.
Klingberg and Cam Fowler are poised to become the Ducks’ best defensive tandem. Since Verbeek took over as general manager last season, the Anaheim Ducks have undergone a significant reshuffling of their lineup.
In my short time here with Dallas, I forged a tight bond with John Klingberg. Had great times. He’d always ask if I picked him for my Stars first goal prediction. We’d share laughs when I’d ask him if his stick “was hot” that particular day (he says it in the video below). pic.twitter.com/BxatBPZwpa
— Kyle Shohara (@kyleshohara) July 29, 2022
He moved longstanding Ducks defensemen Hampus Lindholm and Josh Manson around the trade deadline because he didn’t want to sign the pending free agents to long-term contracts, but he planned to add another senior defenseman to the group led by Cam Fowler this summer to help them compete.
There have been four straight seasons in which Anaheim has missed the playoffs, but the Ducks appear ready for a rebound in the fall. Anaheim’s talented young core, which includes forwards Trevor Zegras and Troy Terry and defenseman Jamie Drysdale, will benefit from the additions of Strome and Vatrano.
This season, Klingberg remained with Texas. He made his NHL debut on November 11, 2014, against the Arizona Coyotes, after being recalled by the Stars. Klingberg’s first NHL goal came against Mike Smith of the Arizona Coyotes on November 20th, 2014. Klingberg was chosen to the NHL All-Rookie team in 2014–15 after leading rookie defensemen in points.
The Stars made the playoffs for the first time in their history this year. Before losing to the St. Louis Blues in the second round, they beat the Minnesota Wild. Klingberg finished the season with a goal and three assists in 13 games played overall.
Klingberg and teammate Tyler Seguin were both named to the 2018 NHL All-Star Game after being voted the league’s best defensemen. In 82 games, he scored a career-high 67 points.
Klingberg underwent hand surgery on November 9th, putting him out of commission for at least four weeks. A 5–2 defeat to the Chicago Blackhawks marked his return on December 20.
After 18 absences, Klingberg had ten goals and 45 points in his career. To advance to the second round of the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs, Klingberg scored the overtime goal in game six against the Nashville Predators.