( Photo Credit: Gary A. Vazquez / USA Today Sports )

By: Cam Manning | Follow me on Twitter @Cam_Manning133

The Boston Bruins are coming off a sweep of the California series and sitting with the best record in the league. It is certainly hard to describe how good this team has been and where they can improve, but with the trade deadline less than two months away, it is clear that the Bruins are buyers and should look to add. One darkhorse name the Bruins should be linked to is Anaheim Ducks defenseman John Klingberg.

Klingberg failed to sign a lucrative deal this past offseason and settled for a bridge deal of one-year worth seven million with the Ducks. Klingberg has undoubtedly had his shortcomings this season, with the Ducks sitting in the bottom half of the Western Conference. Klingberg has posted only five goals and eight assists in 34 games this season and is sitting at a dreadful -24 this season. However, Klingberg’s value should not be understated just because he is sitting on the Ducks as they continue rebuilding. Klingberg’s offensive versatility, ability to quarterback a powerplay, and size should all be things the Bruins consider when they are browsing the market for additions to the team.

Klingberg can bring valuable postseason and veteran experience to an already experienced group for the Bruins. The 30-year-old defenseman was the Dallas Stars’ fifth-round pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft. In 552 games with the Stars, Klingberg posted 374 points (71 goals, 303 assists) during the regular season and was instrumental in Dallas’s Stanley Cup run in 2020. Klingberg posted 21 points in 26 postseason contests and helped bring the Stars to the Stanley Cup finals in 2020. The Stanley Cup playoffs are a long and grueling stretch of games for any team, and you need more depth on your roster. Klingberg would be a solid addition if the Bruins are trying to cap the Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci reunion with a Stanley Cup.

From a financial standpoint, the Bruins only have a little to spend during the deadline. Klingberg’s seven million cap hit is something the Bruins can’t absorb, but the Ducks can eat some of that money to make ends meet if they are looking to get a deal done.

Klingberg is on a one-year prove-it deal with the Ducks, so the price should not be drastically high compared to the likes of Jakob Chychrun, who is younger (24) and has more team control beyond this season. Still, Klingberg won’t go for just anything; you would still need to give up something to get Klingberg. According to Pierre LeBrun of the Athletic, the Ducks are looking for at least a first-round pick for Klingberg, but LeBrun doesn’t see teams biting on the bait.

“Never say never, but given Klingberg’s struggles so far this season, I just don’t see a team jumping up to pay that price.” – Pierre LeBrun.

The Bruins could forfeit a first-round pick and some expiring contracts to entice the Ducks into the offer. The Ducks still need to meet the salary cap floor, and even though the first-round selection will be in the 30s, it is still a first-round pick. The Bruins could also part ways with a prospect such as Matthew Poitras in the deal. Poitras, 18, was a second-round pick by the Bruins in the 2022 entry draft and is currently in the OHL. The Bruins’ farm system outside Fabian Lysell and Mason Lohrei takes a steady drop as they rank near the bottom of the league in farm system rankings.

The Bruins already feature two dynamic offensive defensemen, and Klingberg would undoubtedly add more points to the Bruins defensive core if he gets to play in Jim Montgomery’s system, which fits more with Klingberg’s style of play. Think of the boost it would bring to the second powerplay unit as well. Imagine your d-core features Charlie McAvoy, Hampus Lindholm, Brandon Carlo, and Klingberg. That’s a pretty damn good defense heading into the second half of the season and the postseason.