As things currently stand, Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg is arguably the best defenseman set to be available in this summer’s free agent market. But according to Klingberg, he hopes he doesn’t get there. In today’s season-ending meeting with the media, Klingberg, who has been the subject of many trade rumors in the past, emphasized his desire to remain in Dallas, saying:
At the end of the day, I always want to stay here. We’ve been trying to find different ways to get it done. Year length, money-wise, just trying to get something we’re both happy with.
The factors that could potentially block a Klingberg return are the ones he mentioned, the cost and length of his extension. On May 7th, Stars GM Jim Nill said that he would love to keep Klingberg. But it may not be possible given the team’s cap situation and the other offers Klingberg could receive on the open market. The Stars already have Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell, and Ryan Suter under contract for at least the next three seasons, and with extensions for Jake Oettinger, Jason Robertson, Denis Gurianov, and Roope Hintz to consider over the next two offseasons, it’s difficult to imagine that the Stars will be able to match the kinds of offers Klingberg could receive from elsewhere. So, despite the mutual interest in a return that was communicated today, it looks as though some serious creativity will be required if Klingberg is to remain with the only NHL team he has ever known.
Now, for some other notes regarding the Stars:
- Stars head coach Rick Bowness coached this season on an expiring contract, a deal that has now ended thanks to the Stars’ defeat at the hands of the Calgary Flames. Per Matthew DeFranks of The Dallas Morning News, Bowness stated today that he would prefer a one-year contract at this stage of his career and that he may consider retirement if that’s the path he chooses to go down. Nill did praise Bowness’ work today, emphasizing that Bowness has “done a good job” in this 98-point campaign. He did also say, though, that they will need to “reassess everything.” So with both Bowness and Nill’s comments in mind, it’s certainly possible that the Stars join the multitude of teams seeking a new head coach this offseason.
- On exit days across the NHL, it is common for the numerous injuries a team’s players have been playing through to be revealed publicly for the first time. The Stars’ end-of-season press conferences were no different, and we learned today of a multitude of ailments that Stars players were battling during the season. As relayed by Saad Yousuf of The Athletic, Tyler Seguin fractured his foot in Game One of the series, Hintz strained his oblique in Game Six, and Luke Glendening had a concussion and both knee and groin issues that would have kept him out on a week-to-week basis. While it’s certain that all three players would rather be taking on the Edmonton Oilers tomorrow night, one small benefit of the Stars’ loss is that they now get to begin the recovery process in earnest.