3. Is the trade-off of the defensively-minded Schenn and Holl for the offensively-minded John Klingberg going to pay off for the Leafs?
One of the other key free agent signings in the past offseason for the Toronto Maple Leafs was the addition of former offensive stalwart John Klingberg to their defence corps.
He was definitely a star defenceman back in his time with the Dallas Stars from 2014-22, but both of his offensive and defensive stats have started to decline somewhat in the past couple of years.
For those who could recall, it also hasn’t been that long ago when the Toronto Maple Leafs added an offensively-minded defenceman in Tyson Barrie to their lineup and we all know how that turned out.
Klingberg doesn’t lay out his opponents with big hits as much as both Schenn and Holl do. In addition, he averages just under 80 blocks per season, compared to both Schenn and Holl who each averages over 100 blocks per season.
Despite his brief time with the Leafs, Schenn actually fared well in a top-pairing role with Morgan Rielly during the playoffs. He complemented Rielly’s style of play very well, making them a strong offensive/defensive pairing.
In addition, even though some may not agree, Holl had actually been quite solid defensively for the Leafs during his time with the team, and played a key role in their penalty-killing over the years.
It will be hard to see Klingberg being able to reproduce the same results if given either of those roles on the team, so he will need to figure out his appropriate niche eventually to stick with the team and not become another failed experiment down the road.