Carl Klingberg headed to KHL

Per Alex Nunn, New York Rangers RFA winger Carl Klingberg will head to Torpedo of the KHL. The Rangers acquired Klingberg at the trade deadline from the Winnipeg Jets in exchange for winger Lee Stempniak. The deal cleared Stempniak’s contract in order to land James Sheppard and later that day. Sheppard was supposed to be a better fit for the fourth line, but he never played.

Klingberg, 24, was struggling to crack an NHL roster, so this move isn’t that surprising. People are going to look to this move as “Stempniak was traded for nothing,” which I guess is a fair conclusion. I don’t see it like that though. I wasn’t all that pleased in letting Stempniak go for nothing (would’ve preferred a draft pick), and the injury to Mats Zuccarello showed the Rangers could have used him, but on the surface, Sheppard was a better fit for the fourth line.

The Rangers will retain Klingberg’s NHL rights, depending on the length of the deal in the KHL.

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  • Agree on preferring a pick for Stemp

    Interesting Fact:

    Stempniak was the first player (and Jet) to score a playoff goal in Winnipeg since 1996 (or whenever their last playoff games were prior to this year). Good for him.

  • Can’t get too excited by this because he’s been around for a while & has not made much progress toward NHL time. Now if Buch was coming over I’d get really excited.

  • I really liked what I read on Klingberg. He’s a relentless forechecker and a pain to play against. A speedy 2-way winger. Why wouldn’t the Rangers show more interest in him? I thought he had a good playoffs for Hartfort. He’s a much needed righty winger that may have been a good 4th line replacement assuming the Rangers can’t afford Sheppard.

    Does anyone know why he wasn’t that important to the Rangers that he’d be allowed to leave for the rival KHL.

    • Klingberg is an RFA who is not under contract for next year. The Rangers control the NHL rights – and will continue to do so for a while if they make a qualifying offer – but they can’t stop him from going to another country.

      If the Rangers planned on using him as a top 13 forward next year and convinced him of this, he would probably have stayed. But he was guessing that it would be another year at Hartford with maybe a cup of coffee or two. Isn’t that what you guessed would happen?

  • Also would have preferred a draft choice for Klingberg. In one sense, Klingberg was worth less than nothing since he counted as one of the four post-deadline call-ups and limited Ranger options.

  • Rangers traded Stemp because he was fading as the season rolled on. Shepperd was a much better option but of course he was utilized the right way because of Voldemort.

    Whining about trading Stemp is like worrying about whether you turned off the lights at your house during a major earthquake.

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