One of the biggest names on the free agent market is finally off the board.
After weeks of speculation as the consensus top defender available, John Klingberg finally picked a landing spot on Friday afternoon, agreeing to terms with the Anaheim Ducks on a one-year contract worth $7 million.
In signing for only one year, Klingberg will once again be eligible for unrestricted free agency next summer at the ripe age of 30.
And just like that, the market for available defensemen has thinned considerably. The gap between Klingberg and the next best available player at his position made the Grand Canyon look like a pothole prior to his signing today, with the puck-mover coming off a 47-point season on a Dallas Stars team that produced very little offense elsewhere.
The 29-year-old is a borderline top-pair option, a right-shot defender with elite offensive ability who drives play from the back-end with the best of them.
You won't get much on the defensive side of things, though.
Klingberg has struggled in his own end throughout most of his career, withholding him from breaking into the NHL's elite class of defensemen. But he's still a terrific blueliner with plenty to give, scoring at a 50-point pace or higher for his entire career while averaging over 22 minutes in nightly ice time. If a power play quarterback and offensive threat are what you seek, Klingberg is one of the best options you can find.
Players like that rarely ever hit the open market -- especially those smack-dab in the middle of their prime.
And with today's signing, the Ducks take another step in their pursuit of relevancy after a multi-year rebuild.