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.