Oilers Can’t Afford John Klingberg & Don’t Want It.

John Klingberg, a Dallas Stars trade candidate, has requested recent talks. The organization has been in negotiations for a contract. couldn’t make much progressThis could mean that his time at Dallas is coming to an abrupt halt. Talks and inquiries will continue to be made about whether he could be an Edmonton Oilers target as a defenceman.

The Stars are not in a playoff spot at the moment — mind you they have games in hand on the teams ahead of them. There are however a lot more teams than them in the standings, and they could be in contention for a wildcard spot. They are currently sixth in the Central Division, and thirteenth in the Western Conference. It will be close. They have won three straight games but are still playing.500 hockey in the last 10 games.

Klingberg will be an advocate for them if they fall out of the playoff race. Stars are likely to trade him as a trade candidate, and other teams will certainly be calling to inquire about his price. The Oilers shouldn’t be one of them. The Oilers should not make a deal about Klingberg with Dallas unless Tyson Barrie is specifically involved. Below is more information.

The Cost For Klingberg Isn’t Worth It

Klingberg’s asking price is high. He’s a rental, so a lot of the time, rentals aren’t worth it at all and then the team loses them to free agency in the summer having given up assets with nothing to show for it. Rentals are risky, especially if the team is in a playoff spot. Even then, injury or poor performance during an adjustment period could hold back a team.

With an elite-level defenceman like Klingberg, Dallas isn’t just going to let him go just because he asked for a trade. Because of his offensive prowess as well as his ability to throw a power play, there will be several teams that are interested in him. This will drive up his price and make it less attractive to trade him in Edmonton.

John Klingberg Dallas Stars-Oilers Don't Need & Can't Afford John Klingberg
John Klingberg, Dallas Stars (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers

Edmonton could call Klingberg if they wanted to. The cost would likely include a prospect, a roster defenseman and a draft pick. While I believe the prospect would be playing defense, it is possible that they could replace Klingberg with a prospect in the near-term. The Oilers also have many forward prospects.

Edmonton would have to send Barrie with his term and contract the other way in order to make it work. It is possible that this could be attractive to Dallas, with Miro Heiskanen being able play the power play. However, it would replace what they lost by giving them two years at a lower price. Barrie and Esa Lindell could be paired by the Stars to help make up some of Barrie’s deficiencies in the defensive end of the game.

Klingberg is having financial difficulties in Dallas. His next contract should be for $6 million. That’s less than Dougie Hamilton. However, they are similar players so it’s easy to compare. They would be able to save around $1.5-$2 million over the next two seasons.

Klingberg would be either deployed in Edmonton’s first or second pair. The question is, will the Stars accept it? Or would they have to give up another thing? They would have to give up a draft selection in the top half or a prospect with the potential to one day play for them, which I wouldn’t recommend. It would solve the issue of overpaying a third-pairing defenceman for two more seasons to run the power play, but I’m sure there will be other suitors if the Oilers make Barrie available in the offseason.

Oilers Don’t Need More Offensive-Minded Defencemen

Besides a deal for Barrie, if the Oilers were to just add Klingberg on top of what they already have, it wouldn’t make much sense at all. Klingberg plays on the right side and is an offensive-minded defenseman. The Oilers are more likely to find a right-shot defenseman than a lefty, but they have plenty.

John Klingberg Dallas Stars-Oilers Don't Need & Can't Afford John Klingberg
John Klingberg, Dallas Stars (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers

Barrie was signed for three years at $4.5million, Evan Bouchard is currently on an entry-level contract but has made great strides in his development at NHL level. Cody Ceci has a more defensive mindset. On the right side, the Oilers have three right shot defencemen. Two can run power plays and both are offensively-minded.

The Oilers require a left-handed defenceman that can play on either the second or third side. All three Oilers’ defencemen mentioned above are exclusively right defencemen and would be at least a bit out of place on the other side. I have yet to mention that if they go and spend to get Klingberg from the Stars, moves to upgrade the defence would be over and the Oilers wouldn’t have gotten that shutdown defender that the team needs the most.

Related: Oilers’ Trade Targets on the Seattle Kraken

If the slide continues, the Oilers might need to make some changes in their locker room. While we will need to wait to see which teams are in the second half of the season, the Oilers should keep their eyes on one thing: winning. These are the areas they need to improve.At this season.