Report: Leafs missed out on major upgrade, opted for John Klingberg instead
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Report: Leafs missed out on major upgrade, opted for John Klingberg instead

Yeesh... an update from Elliotte Friedman that Leafs fans will NOT like.



It's safe to say that the John Klingberg experiment has been an abject failure in Toronto, just 13 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 13 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 -8 +/- stat line and is amongst the worst defensemen in the league by defensive metrics and analytics.

To put it bluntly: He stinks.

What makes matters even worse is the fact that the Leafs apparently settled on Klingberg back on July 1st, with Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman reporting that the team's first choice was veteran defenseman Matt Dumba over Klingberg. Once it became clear that the Leafs weren't going to get Dumba under contract for what they could sign Klingberg for, GM Brad Treliving moved on.

From Friedman:

"I think the guy they really wanted on July 1st was Dumba," Friedman said. "I think they were in on him. Klingberg came in at $4.15 million, Dumba ended up in Arizona for $3.9 million, but I think at the time he was high in the fives (5 million range). I think Toronto really wanted him and they couldn't get the deal done because they couldn't fit Dumba where he wanted to be..."

"He was the guy (Toronto) talked to. He was the guy they wanted. But they couldn't fit him in for what he was asking."

As it played out, Dumba priced himself too high and ended up having to wait out the entire month of July before inking a one year, $3.9 million deal with the Arizona Coyotes.

Now, no one is saying that Dumba is a perfect player or that he's the answer to all of the Leafs' problems, but he's a much more well rounded player than Klingberg and there's no denying that he would have fit the Leafs' system much better.

The one that got away...

Source: Elliotte Friedman