Stars' John Klingberg: 'I don't feel appreciated'
Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

It was Friday afternoon when reports surfaced that Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg requested a trade from the team.

And on Saturday afternoon, Klingberg partially shot that rumor down by saying, “It’s not entirely true.”

But what Klingberg did say is that contract talks for the with the Stars have gone quiet: “For me as a player, I don’t feel like I’ve been appreciated.”

For Klingberg, who is a pending UFA this offseason, a large payday looms. He is coming off a seven-year deal paying him an AAV of $4.25 million.

In November, former DailyFaceoff writer and now Dallas Stars-staffer Steve Greely dove into what Klingberg’s next deal could look like. Greely projected a Stars offer of seven years with an AAV of $7.75 million, while the Klingberg camp could come in around eight years at $9 million. Ultimately, Greely projected a seven-year deal with an AAV of $8.25 million.

Drafted by the club in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, Klingberg emerged as one of the league’s premier offensive defensemen over the last decade.

He broke into the NHL in 2014-15 with the Stars landing on the league’s All-Rookie team after a season that saw him score 11 goals and 40 points in 65 games from the back end. From there, his production only increased.

His best season in the league came during the 2017-18 season when he scored 67 points in 82 games.

This year, meanwhile, Klingberg has continued to produce at a solid clip despite playing the least minutes in his career, 21:48 per night. In 25 games, Klingberg has scored one goal and 16 points.

While he continues to provide immense value on the powerplay, his five-on-five production has dipped to the lowest of his career, while his defensive contributions have remained average.

But the downward trend in ice time over the last four seasons has come with the emergence of Miro Heiskanen and Esa Lindell, both of whom have been chipping away at Klingberg’s totals.

On top of that, that pair have both been locked up to significant long-term deals. Heiskanen is in the first year of an eight-year deal paying him an AAV of $8.45 million, while Lindell is in year three of a six-year pact paying him an AAV of $5.8 million.

This will undoubtedly be one of the larger storylines to follow in the coming months.

This article first appeared on Daily Faceoff and was syndicated with permission.

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