The Dallas Stars are looking to be active this offseason after bringing Peter DeBoer in as their new head coach, and multiple reports suggest Dallas is full-steam ahead on trying to stay in contention with this core. However, it seems they’ll now be doing that without defenseman John Klingberg, who Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli reports is heading to the free-agent market without “an avenue forward at the moment to keep him in Dallas.”
With the Pittsburgh Penguins all but certainly reaching an agreement to retain Kris Letang, Klingberg is undoubtedly the highest-quality defenseman for bidders looking to add this offseason. There’s some solid depth in the form of players like Ben Chiarot, Josh Manson, Nick Leddy, and Nikita Zadorov, but none have the ability to score 45-plus points like Klingberg.
He did have a bit of a rough 2021-22 campaign, though, likely limiting any contract he signs from exceeding the $7-8MM mark annually. While he did have a respectable 47 points in 71 games, he had the worst defensive season of his career with a -28 rating and a 49.7% Corsi for at even strength. It was his first season under the 50% Corsi mark since 2016-17.
Dallas has Miro Heiskanen ready to assume his role at the top of the depth chart, and it seems they’ll be able to reallocate Klingberg’s previous $4.25MM cap hit to improve their depth at all positions. The Stars have a projected $18.5MM in cap room per CapFriendly, but new contracts are also in order for Jason Robertson and Jake Oettinger. Even without Klingberg back in the fold, they’ll likely only have about $5-7MM worth of space to spend in free agency.
Klingberg will have a fair amount of suitors come July 13.