The Toronto Maple Leafs are in a bit of a predicament with one of their free agent signings as John Klingberg continues to be out an undetermined time.
Klingberg, who Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Brad Treliving signed to an ill-advised one-year deal this past summer for $4.1 Million has been an extreme disappointment to start the season and an injury he has been dealing with may be the cause of his play.
NHL Analyst and former Leafs winger Mike Johnson joined TSN’S First Up on Thursday morning to give his opinion on the Swedish defenseman’s injury and future.
Johnson who travelled to Sweden for the Global Series explained how Klingberg was visibly fighting a severe injury that could be seen while walking.
Toronto Maple Leafs: John Klingberg Done For the Season?
It was reported that the former 67-point defender tried everything he could to get into at least one of the games in Sweden this past weekend, but his body would not allow it and the flights to get to there and back may have made it worse.
Klingberg had double hip surgery nearly a decade ago and this could be an issue that will be ongoing and will continually need maintenance.
He is expected to see specialists over the next couple of weeks which will give him answers going forward for the remainder of the season.
Johnson further stated on the radio show that if he was a betting on the situation, he would be leaning towards Klingberg’s season being over.
Nobody wants to see a player lose an entire season or career due to an injury, however it’s hard not to see this as good news for the Leafs because Klingberg has been unplayable this season, whatever the reason.
Klingberg has zero goals and only five assists, while the Leafs are getting destroyed whenever he is on the ice. He has a team low Expected Goals Rating and the Leafs have been outscored 14-9 when he’s on the ice.
If the Leafs can re-invest his $4.1 million cap-hit by moving him to the LTIR it is going to make a big difference.
With that much space created, the Toronto Maple Leafs would likely not have to pay so much in a trade for a defenseman because they wouldn’t be as desperate to send back another bad contract or receive cap-retention, which means they’d be dealing from a far stronger position.