Brad Treliving with a crucial update on John Klingberg's future
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Brad Treliving with a crucial update on John Klingberg's future

Is this it? Did the Leafs just get another salary cap freebie?



It's safe to say that the John Klingberg experiment has been an abject failure in Toronto, just 14 games into the season.

The 31 year old defenseman was signed as a free agent by the Toronto Maple Leafs this past offseason, inking a one year, $4.15 million deal on the opening day of free agency. So far he has five assists in 14 games to start the campaign with the Leafs which doesn't sound awful, but he's been a defensive black hole since game 1. He sports a brutal -7 +/- stat line and is amongst the worst defensemen in the league by defensive metrics and analytics.

To put it bluntly: He stinks.

Last week the Leafs placed him on long-term injury reserve (LTIR) in an effort to give themselves some cap relief while he seeks treatment for what appears to be a nagging hip injury.

Many Leafs fans are reacting to this news with positivity, since Klingberg has been so terrible in his short stint with the team. Other fans around the league though are skeptical that Klingberg even has an injury to begin with and are accusing the Leafs of burying his cap hit on 'Robidas Island' a fictional place where former Leafs defenseman Stephane Robidas was banished to in order to save on the cap. Ditto for Matt Murray, but that's an entirely other matter.

Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe says that Klingberg is "working through things to determine what's next for him."

To me, that's confirmation from the coach that Klingberg is done with the Leafs.

Today Leafs GM Brad Treliving confirmed that Klingberg is seeing a hip specialist in New York and a decision will be made on surgery in the next few days. It's believed that a surgery would effectively end Klingberg's season and maybe his entire career.

From Leafs insider Luke Fox:

The fact of the matter is that the Leafs have a tendency to make their major cap problems simply go away with assignments to LTIR and it hardly seems like the NHL cares to look into these situations. Then again... this is a league that watched the Tampa Bay Lightning sit out there superstar scorer for an entire season with a fake injury. So are we really surprised that stuff like this keeps happening?

Source: Luke Fox