Former Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg is signing a one-year deal with the Anaheim Ducks that is expected to be worth around $7 million, according to The Athletic's Eric Stephens and ESPN's Kevin Weekes.
The news comes after Klingberg parted ways with his longtime agent, Peter Wallen, earlier this week. He is now represented by Newport Sports Management.
Klingberg, arguably the top defenseman available this summer, had been testing the free agent market since it opened on July 13. The Athletic's Saad Yousuf suggested last week that the market wasn't what Klingberg and his camp were expecting.
That said, it's no surprise Klingberg agreed to a one-year contract with the Ducks. He'll now have the opportunity to re-enter free agency next summer in hopes of signing a larger, long-term deal.
Klingberg had spent the first eight seasons of his career with the Stars, who selected him in the fifth round of the 2010 NHL draft. He burst onto the scene in 2014-15 and was named to the All-Rookie Team after notching 11 goals and 29 assists in 65 games.
In 552 games in Dallas, the 29-year-old tallied 71 goals and 303 assists. He also had a decent 2021-22 campaign, notching six goals and 41 assists in 74 games.
It's unclear how the Stars plan to replace Klingberg this summer.
Ryan Suter and Miro Heiskanen figure to be Dallas' top-pairing defensemen in 2022-23, but things get a little dicey beyond the duo with Esa Lindell, Jani Hakanpaa, Thomas Harley and Colin Miller expected to fill out the remainder of the defense.
The Stars are projected to have $11.5 million in cap space, per CapFriendly. Some defensemen still available include P.K. Subban, Calvin de Haan, Michal Kempny, Ryan Murray, Dean Kukan, Keith Yandle and Jack Johnson.
However, none of those players are likely to make up for the loss of Klingberg.
As for Anaheim, the Ducks will have an impressive defensive unit in 2022-23. In addition to Klingberg, the franchise also boasts a group of blue liners that includes Cam Fowler, Jamie Drysdale, Urho Vaakanainen, Kevin Shattenkirk, Simon Benoit and Josh Mahura.
Before signing Klingberg, the Ducks were projected to have nearly $26 million in cap space, per CapFriendly. They'll still have plenty of room to take a shot at some of the other top free agents available if they wish, including Nazem Kadri.