The Hurricanes have inquired about the availability of Stars defenseman John Klingberg, Sportsnet’s Jeff Marek reports (video link). The 29-year-old is in the final year of his contract and a report earlier in the season suggested that he was seeking a max-term eight-year extension worth over $60MM, a price tag that Dallas clearly hasn’t been willing to meet yet. He’s off to a quiet start to his season with no goals and seven assists in 15 games although his track record suggests he’ll turn things around offensively. The fit in Carolina is interesting as they’re already using LTIR and don’t have the cap space to take on Klingberg’s $4.25MM AAV; they’d need Dallas to retain or to send close to matching money the other way. They already have a strong back end and Klingberg would certainly give them a big boost but it’s the type of trade that is more plausible closer to the trade deadline than this early in the season.
Elsewhere around the Central:
- The Predators will soon have a decision to make on pending UFA winger Filip Forsberg. Do they re-sign him and keep trying to win with their current core or go in a different direction to shake things up? Adam Vingan of The Athletic makes the case (subscription link) that Nashville should take the latter option over running the risk of being saddled with another high-priced contract on a core that already has over $46MM in commitments for 2024-25. Considering that core probably isn’t good enough to contend, moving on from Forsberg – likely making him a rental trade at the deadline – would be another critical step in GM David Poile’s shakeup, one that saw Viktor Arvidsson and Ryan Ellis head elsewhere this past summer.
- The Blackhawks were hoping to have center Tyler Johnson back soon but it doesn’t appear as if that will be the case. Interim head coach Derek King told reporters including Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago (Twitter link) that the veteran isn’t as far along in his recovery as they hoped from an undisclosed injury that has kept him out for the last week and a half. Johnson is in his first season with Chicago after being acquired from Tampa Bay but has been limited to just eight games so far due to injuries while he has just a goal and two assists when he has been in the lineup.