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How Effective Will John Klingberg Be with the Maple Leafs?

John Klingberg was not one of Toronto Maple Leafs Brad Treliving’s favorite signings. Will he turn out OK for the team this season?

The Toronto Maple Leafs made a bit of a controversial signing when they inked John Klingberg to a one-year $4 million deal. Now the question is what Klingberg’s impact will be with the Maple Leafs?

The Maple Leafs Have Made Big Moves, Is Klingberg One of Them?

The recent free agent signings by the Maple Leafs have – by and large – been seen as positive. But the jury seems to be out on how effective Klingberg can be with the team. In this episode of The Hockey Writers Maple Leafs Lounge, writers Peter Baracchini and Jim Parsons discuss Klingberg’s potential impact on the team.

In this post, I’ll share what they say in their conversation and add my own insights to the mix. Just how important will Klingberg’s signing be for the team? At one time, he was a good, solid, high-scoring defenseman. Is there any chance he can be that again?

Klingberg’s Recent Performance

Klingberg’s production has fluctuated since his standout 67-point season with the Dallas Stars. In subsequent seasons, he has recorded point totals ranging from 30 to 55. Last season, he notched 24 points with the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild in 17 games before being traded at the deadline. However, because he’s a high-end puck-moving defenseman, his offensive capabilities make him an intriguing addition to an offensive team such as the Maple Leafs.

Klingberg’s Impact on the Maple Leafs’ Blue Line

With Morgan Rielly already anchoring the Maple Leafs’ defense, the signing of Klingberg raises questions about the team’s defensive structure. Parsons suggests that Klingberg’s presence could provide relief for Rielly, specifically on the power play. His ability to share offensive responsibilities might alleviate some pressure on Rielly and enhance the team’s offensive output.

Related: 5 Things That Max Domi Will Bring to the Maple Leafs?

How Can Fans Assess the Value of the Klingberg Signing?

Parsons believes Klingberg’s signing is neither the best nor the worst move for the Maple Leafs. Given that Klingberg signed a one-year deal worth $4.15 million, it appears to be a fair value. Parsons speculates that perhaps Klingberg is seeing this signing as a “show me” deal for himself. He’d like to prove his worth and secure a more substantial contract in the future.

That makes sense and suggests that Klingberg has the potential to explode offensively in Toronto and contribute greatly to the team’s success.

There’s a Good Chance Treliving is Not Finished on the Blue Line

Parsons suggests that Maple Leafs’ fans take a wait-and-see attitude. He believes that the team’s blue line is far from being a finished product. General Manager Brad Treliving is likely to make further moves and potentially acquire more defensemen through trades.

The eventual composition of the blue line will dictate where Klingberg fits into the team’s defensive structure. If relied upon to contribute both offensively and defensively, challenges may arise. However, if he assumes a specialized role, such as quarterbacking the power play, Klingberg’s impact could be substantial.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Development Camp Became Cowan’s Stage

The Bottom Line

The signing of John Klingberg presents an intriguing opportunity for the Maple Leafs. While his signing might not be the best or the worst move, his offensive capabilities make him an asset. His ability to alleviate pressure on Rielly and contribute significantly to the power play could elevate the team’s scoring potential.

However, the final make up of the Maple Leafs’ defense and the role assigned to Klingberg will ultimately determine the extent of his impact. As it stands right now, it’s tough to see just what impact Klingberg’s signing could have on the team.

Related: Why Would the Maple Leafs Add Goalie Brian Elliott?



  1. gfinale

    July 12, 2023 at 5:26 am

    Actually, I’m not sure Klingberg was ever a solid DEFENSEMAN, he is good offensively though.
    I’m guessing that the Leafs are planning on giving more time to pp2, not just because of Klingberg but because of everything they seem to be doing. They may be looking at throwing more lines, mixing of lines, aggravation, annoyance, toughness, etc. at the opposition instead of being sooo predictable.

  2. gfinale

    July 12, 2023 at 6:34 am

    I’m sure Klingberg is doing it for either high visibility in getting something better from whatever team in a year or a show me. Either way, he’ll want much more next year if he’s successful.

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