DALLAS — John Klingberg can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, but the Dallas Stars would like to re-sign the defenseman.
“Oh, I’d love to keep him,” Stars general manager Jim Nill said prior to the Stars hosting the Calgary Flames in Game 3 of the Western Conference First Round at American Airlines Center on Saturday (9:30 p.m. ET; TNT, CBC, SN, TVAS, BSSW). The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1.
“But he’s got to look out for himself too, so I fully understand that. So we’ll see if we can figure something out.”
Klingberg is in the final season of a seven-year contract he signed on April 17, 2015. Selected by the Stars in the fifth round (No. 131) of the 2010 NHL Draft, Klingberg has scored 374 points (71 goals, 303 assists) in 552 NHL games, all with Dallas. He also scored 34 points (seven goals, 27 assists) in 54 Stanley Cup Playoff games prior to Saturday.
Nill said he and Klingberg’s camp will talk more following the postseason.
“Once we’re all done, then we’ll sit down,” he said. “We have to figure out next year and we’ll go from there.”
The 29-year-old said in January he felt underappreciated by the Stars and was frustrated in the lack of talks with them at that time.
“Other guys have signed right before the season before. I wanted to do that as well,” Klingberg said after a 3-2 victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Jan. 8. “Lately, it has been going more quietly and quietly. For me, as a player, I don’t feel that I’ve been appreciated in that way when we don’t even negotiate. It’s quiet.
“For me, as a player, my agent, we talked to Jim a couple months back. He agreed that we could start talking with other GMs and see where we were at. Negotiation-wise, the Stars have been very quiet.”
At the time, Klingberg had scored 17 points (one goal, 16 assists) in 26 games. He finished the regular season as Dallas’ fifth-leading scorer with 47 points (six goals, 41 assists) in 74 games.
“Yeah, I’m not going to lie, it was a little bit frustrating to start the year for some time there,” Klingberg said Monday. “The all-star break was pretty good for me just to get away a little bit mentally, physically and all that and just refocus, look at myself in the mirror, too. Since then I’ve been happy with my game.”
Nill has been happy as well, and said he knows where Klingberg is coming from regarding a new contract.
“John and I have had many discussions, we have a great relationship,” he said. “I fully understand his point of view, he understands ours and he knows in the end, let’s go play, let’s have some success and good things are going to happen and we’ll deal with that after the season’s over. He’s been good.
“It’s not easy to block that out, it’s tough and he’s been a big part of our team for a long time. So I fully understand his point of view, but he’s been very professional, and he just said, ‘let’s go win some games.'”
Read More: Stars would ‘love to keep’ Klingberg, GM Nill says 2022-05-07 20:48:50