The Ducks Make the Highly Anticipated Trade of John Klingberg

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If I’m reading the tea leaves correctly, this is a fan disappointment. Let me get to the actual trade and then give my thoughts. 

Anaheim Ducks trade to the Minnesota Wild:

John Klingberg

2010 5th Round Pick #131 overall

6’3”, 190 lbs, 30 years old

50GP 8G 16A 24P -28

Signed as a Free Agent from the Dallas Stars for $7mil

  • Ducks retain 50% salary

The Minnesota Wild returns to the Anaheim Ducks:

  • 4th Round Pick in 2025

Andrej Sustr


6’7”, 201 lbs, 32 years old

39GP 2G 10A 12P +12 (All on the Iowa Wild of the AHL)

  • Contract rights to: 

Nikita Nesterenko 

2019 6th Round Pick #172 overall

6’2”, 185 lbs, 21 years old

32GP 11G 19A 30P 4PPG (All on Boston College)

A quick note about Nesterenko, he is fairly well thought of by Minnesota Wild fans, but the consensus is that he will not sign with the Wild after his collegiate career. He’s interesting, but as a left handed shooting winger, he’d have to really impress at the next level for him to have a serious chance at making the NHL squad. He is young, though, so things could change. 

Let’s start with the realities of John Klingberg this season, not his past and reputation. Klingberg has been otherworldly bad defensively for the Ducks. In a perfect world, he would have come in, been the PP1 quarterback, racked up some impressive totals offensively, and been shipped off for a first, as the Ducks wouldn’t make the playoffs. That was not the case, as he spent this season as a negative impact player, the statistical worst in the NHL. The worst in the cap era. Ever.

So the dreams of John Klingberg bringing back a haul went the way of his play. The Anaheim coaching staff did him few favors, with Klingberg not getting the big-time minutes on the PP (most going to Cam Fowler) and waiting SO close to the deadline to trade him. This seemed to tie the hands of General Manager Pat Verbeek, and rather than lose him for nothing, and he had to take the best available deal. 

John ended up fetching, in essence, a 4th round pick, a big body in Sustr, and an absolute dart throw in Nesterenko. Basically, the 6th Round Nesterenko is projecting to be maybe a 3rd round value and retaining half his $7 million salary to get even that much. This isn’t a “loss” for the Ducks, as they are pretty good at finding late-round gems, but it is monumentally underwhelming. 

We didn’t see the big splashes that were all over the past few days: no John Gibson trade, no Adam Henrique trade, and not even a Max Comtois deal. What did happen was Pat Verbeek moving expiring assets, weaponizing some salary, and giving a few extra pulls on the slot machine of the NHL draft. 

Perhaps Nikita Nesterenko grows into a fine player – an absolute steal, or maybe the 4th rounder turns into another Josh Manson or even a Troy Terry (5th Round). All of this will be water under the bridge. However, as of now, the gamble of Klingberg didn’t pan out the way it could have for the player or the team. 

Putting a bow on this trade deadline, I take away and find solace in this recurring thought: Bob Murray would never have had the stones to take this shot. Now I know that GMPV at least has the guts to pull the trigger. 

Not every bullet has to hit. 

On this week's chaotic episode of LAP, Jake, Chris, and Lou talk about the Stanley Cup Final, some coaching changes and share some thoughts on the ESPN and TNT broadcasts. They also talk at length abouth why Florida's uniforms need to change and finish things up with listener questions!Follow Late Arrivals Twitter: @latearrivalspodInstagram: @latearrivalspodFollow the hostsChris: @CJKChelConnor: @91_PlutyJake: @_JRobles71Louis: @Louiex37 Intro/ Outro done by Will Rice/ @pastorwillrice
  1. Episode 45: Out On Main
  2. Episode 44: Oh Rats!
  3. Episode 43: Lets Get Silly
  4. Episode 42: LAP Knows Ball(s)
  5. Episode 41: Release The Geese

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