John Klingberg has found his next NHL home.
The former Dallas Stars defenseman signed to a one-year contract with the Anaheim Ducks in free agency on Friday, the team announced.
“We are extremely excited to add John to our group,” said Ducks general manager Pat Verbeek in a statement.
“John is a gifted player who can quarterback a power play and give us needed scoring from the blueline. He also adds veteran leadership and character to our team.”
Per multiple reports, Klingberg’s deal with the Ducks will be worth $7 million.
Klingberg became an unrestricted free agent this summer after spending the first eight seasons of his NHL career with the Stars.
Originally a fifth-round pick in 2010, Klingberg put up 47 points in 74 games last season. In 552 NHL games, he totaled 374 points. During Dallas’ first-round playoff loss to Calgary, Klingberg had just one assist in seven games. His 19 minutes a game were fourth-most among Dallas defensemen, albeit impacted by his Game 1 ejection.
The Stars and Klingberg had been at an impasse in contract negotiations the entire season, reaching a head in January when Klingberg expressed his frustration publicly.
Once the offseason began, the Stars reached a lucrative agreement with free agent Mason Marchment and other players, eliminating the chance for Klingberg to re-sign at the contract value he was seeking.
At the reported $7 million, Klingberg will make more money in the 2022-23 season than he has in any other single season in his career, and the one-year contract also sets the defenseman up to return to free agency again next summer and attempt to strike his sought-after long-term commitment.
Gleason returning: Dallas brought back a key piece of its AHL roster on Friday, announcing it had signed defenseman Ben Gleason to a one-year, two-way contract.
Gleason, 24, finished the 2021-22 season with a career-high 44 points (9 G, 35 A) in 70 regular season games for the Texas Stars. His 44 points ranked fifth among all AHL defensemen.
Gleason has also played in four career NHL regular season games with Dallas, recording one assist.