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John Klingberg will undergo season-ending hip surgery later this month

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Photo credit:Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
2 months ago
The John Klingberg experience has ended after Brad Treliving revealed to the media that the defenceman will have hip surgery that will shut him down for the rest of the campaign.
Given reports that emerged during the Leafs’ trip to Sweden about his future being uncertain given how much the plane ride across the Atlantic aggravated the injury, it makes sense why things have now reached this point. Klingberg had been dealing with hip issues for years leading up to this season, but the ailment has allegedly been bothering him more over the past year and a bit since he signed with the Anaheim Ducks.
Klingberg reaggravated the ailment during a game against the Panthers in October and it severely impacted his abilities, which would only worsen if he kept trying to power through it. He last played on November 11th when he was only a day removed from being a healthy scratch due to his hip issues.
His brief tenure in Toronto ends with him playing in 14 games and registering only five assists in that span.
I would imagine that this is not how Brad Treliving envisioned things would play out for Klingberg when he inked a one-year contract with a $4.15 million cap hit. Despite being one of the worst defenders in his end, the Swedish blueliner was brought in for his puck-moving abilities on the back end and his prowess on the power play. There were flashes of him providing just what he was advertised as, but the hip injury prevented that from happening and the bet on him rebounding his career did not pan out in Toronto.
With his season coming to a premature end, this does provide Treliving clarity on how much space he has available to use when targeting a defenceman in a trade. The Leafs were in on Nikita Zadorov but the trade did not materialize not only because the Flames were unwilling to retain salary, but also because they did not know whether Klingberg would be shut down for the year.
Although this waiting resulted in them missing out on Zadorov, who ended up being acquired by the Canucks, Toronto can now actively pursue other options that will meet their needs. That means you can expect to see more rumblings in the coming weeks of them looking at guys like Chris Tanev, Sean Walker, and Will Borgen among others.
Treliving has made it no secret that he is looking to shore up the blueline by any means necessary. With Klingberg set to undergo season-ending hip surgery, this now gives the Leafs GM the green light to up the ante and push a potential trade across the finish line.
Stats from Hockey-Reference.com. Salary information from CapFriendly.

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