Detroit Red Wings should steer clear of John Klingberg at trade deadline

(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports)
(Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports) /

In a recent Detroit Red Wings article about Nicklas Lidstrom returning to the organization, I suggested the idea of bringing in another proven veteran defenseman. Near the end of the article, I mentioned the concept of targeting John Klingberg from the Dallas Stars.

The more I look at it; it seems like the Detroit Red Wings are better off avoiding a deal for Klingberg. The initial reaction is that he would greatly benefit the Red Wings defense core as a proven veteran, but things are deceiving at first glance. Therefore, I am walking back on using Klingberg as an example.

While many trade rumors articles have Klingberg listed as being on the block and headed out of Dallas, there’s some caution with pursuing a deal. The most significant factor that stands out is that Klingberg is due for a new contract after this season.

The pending unrestricted free agent will get a nice contract, and knowing that there has to be some hesitation from Steve Yzerman to spend too early before the Red Wings are ready to make the jump to the next level.

Detroit Red Wings should avoid trading for John Klingberg.

There’s a case to be made about the Red Wings acquiring Klingberg in a trade and sign type of deal. But the comments from Yzerman on not wanting to jeopardize the future by spending too much now.

Klingberg would likely be a beneficial addition, but at what cost? Over eight seasons in the league, he has been a solid member of the Stars blueline who’s worked well with Miro Heiskanen, But in recent years, Klingberg has been on the downturn in performance.

In 2020-21, Klingberg logged 53 games with seven goals and 29 assists for 36 total points. In 2021-22, Klingberg has 28 games played with just one goal and 16 assists for 17 total points.

While he’s a proven veteran who’s had a recent downturn in performance, there are a few things that worry me here. He’s on a $4.25 million yearly cap hit deal at 29 years old, likely looking at a deal similar to what Colton Parayko got with the St. Louis Blues.

Since Klingberg is 29 years old, he will be moving into the wrong side of 30 soon, and paying him on a 5-year, nearly $30 million deal seems silly. The Red Wings will spend eventually, but the hope should be that the spending is on players Yzerman really wants to bring in.

Besides age and the potential cost, the downturn in performance is a bit worrisome. It could be related to age, but there’s some concern with a Klingberg trade.

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As the trade deadline nears and rumors continue to mount, the Red Wings should steer clear of a deal for Klingberg.