The Dallas Stars’ John Klingberg will be an unrestricted free agent following the conclusion of the 2021-2022 NHL season.  He has made it clear that he is not happy in Dallas, and the team would be wise to move him ahead of the NHL Trade Deadline in March.  Klingberg is one of several notable defensemen said to be available such as the Arizona Coyotes’ Jakob Chychrun and the Seattle Kraken’s Mark Giordano, and whichever contending team is willing to shell out for a top defenseman could be the big winners of the deadline.

If the Stars can successfully trade the 6’3″ Swedish defenseman, TSN’s Pierre LeBrun suggests that his replacement should be easy to find.  The Montreal Canadiens have been embroiled in trade rumours nearly all season due to their league-worst record and the uncertainty regarding the future of franchise goaltender Carey Price.  While shutdown defenseman Ben Chiarot has been the main target of hearsay as of late, it was recently reported that Jeff Petry wants out of Montreal, and the Stars’ would be a perfect fit for the veteran defenseman.

Petry and Klingberg have similar games as they are both big defensemen who are known for their offensive ability.  They have comparable numbers in recent years although Klingberg is the more productive player, amassing .68 points per game since the beginning of the 2017-2018 season until now, while Petry has averaged .53 points per game in that same timespan.  Petry, however, is the much more physical player, often doubling or even tripling Klingberg’s yearly totals in hits.  

Petry has struggled this season (4 points in 31 games), and the 34-year-old has three years left on his contract with a $6.25 million cap hit compared to Klingberg’s expiring deal worth $4.25 million.  However, replacing Klingberg with Petry makes sense despite his age and contract as Klingberg will almost certainly receive contract offers well north of the $6.25 million that Petry will make over the next few seasons.

LeBrun also mentions that the Habs aren’t going to give up Petry for cheap simply because he is underperforming and wants to play elsewhere.  He says “Teams have to step up” in regards to putting a package together for the Canadiens defensemen.

Photo Credit: © Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

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